Sought after speaker Susan Smiley shares preScreen Shot 2014-03-13 at 5.11.24 PMsentations bridging the fields of mental health, neuroscience and human development. A Harvard-trained educator and a compelling storyteller, she is not only a public speaker, but an experienced workshop presenter and a neurofeedback specialist. Formerly, she was an award-winning documentarian with 15 years of non-fiction television and educational film credits.

Susan has given presentations at corporations including behavioral healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, keynoted and presented at state and national conferences (NAMI, American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, Women’s Mental Health Symposium), and spoken at professional organizations (American Psychiatric Association, Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia Research in Davos), advocacy groups, universities (Boston University School of Public Health, UT Southwestern, Tulane), and government agencies (Departments of Health and Human Services and Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services).

Susan’s warm presentation style combined with her ability to translate cognitive neuroscience research moves audiences’ hearts and minds. As an at-risk child who endured chronic adversity, Susan’s work sometimes draws upon personal stories to strengthen and give credibility to the effect one’s experience has on their ability to learn, adapt and thrive. Her personal documentary, the acclaimed film Out of the Shadow, is an intimate portrait of Susan’s mother, Millie who suffered from schizophrenia, and how she and her family cope through years of navigating the public health system. The film aired for eight years on public television stations nationwide and was translated into 12 languages.

Susan’s presentations have been called “memorable and masterful,” “inspirational,” “emotionally powerful,” “honest, brilliant,” and “filled with style and grace, wit and compassion.” “Everyone from the CEO to the managed markets person talked about how touched they were by your presentation,” wrote one product launch executive.

Susan is the proud mother of a daughter. She holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she double majored in Biology and English Literature, and an Ed.M. in the interdisciplinary field of Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.



Alegent Creighton Health / Creighton University
Millikin University
Boston University School of Public Health
Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Tulane University School of Medicine
UT Southwestern School of Medicine
North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine


Women’s Mental Health Symposium, University of Arizona
American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meetings
National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (NCCBH)
American Society of Bioethics and Humanities Annual Conference
Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia Research, Davos, Switzerland
Australasian Schizophrenia Conference, Western Australia
Mexican Psychiatric Association National Congress
EUFAMI Congress, Torun, Poland
NAMI National Convention


Mental Illness & Faith Communities Conference, Tucson, AZ
Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Directors
California Psychiatric Association
New Jersey Assoc. of Mental Health Agencies Annual Meeting
California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies
Texas MHMR Annual Meeting
New York State MHA Annual Conference
Mental Health Providers Conference, Eastern Montana


Johnson & Johnson
Janssen Pharmaceutica
Astra Zeneca
Aetna Behavioral Healthcare