Strategy and Communications Director
Susan Poulton has over twenty-five years of digital media, communications, and content strategy experience, working with organizations in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors to help transform their media and outreach strategies and help meet their content and audience goals. From science to entertainment, her passion is inspiring and awakening curiosity in any audience and moving them to action through creative experiences and storytelling.
Most recently, Susan was the Chief Digital Officer of The Franklin Institute, where she conceived and developed a comprehensive digital strategy for the 8th largest science museum in the country. This strategy included website, social media, mobile app, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence applications and focused on the creation of science content for a global audience to support the educational mission of the museum and transform them into a digital leader among visitors, the community, and cultural institutions.
She currently manages her own digital consulting firm, Door 44 Digital. In that role she develops digital strategies for multiple organizations in both the for profit and non-profit space and also conducts independent research on solutions to our current misinformation crisis and disaster communication tactics. Current roles include Director of Strategy and Communications for the Ocean Discovery League (formerly MIT Media Lab’s Open Ocean project developing outreach strategies for equity in ocean exploration. Previous clients include managing digital and social media strategy and external media relations for Dr. Robert Ballard’s Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) and the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, implementing tactics for ocean science communication and storytelling resulting in thousands of viral media stories on ocean exploration and tens of millions of media hits.
Susan was Vice President of Digital Media for the National Geographic Society for seven years. In that role she oversaw the development of many of National Geographic’s first online content verticals, resulting in dramatic growth for the Society’s digital presence and monetization capabilities. She then focused on outreach and content strategies for the Society’s non-profit and exploration initiatives including James Cameron’s DeepSea Challenge, The Genographic Project, Big Cats, Freshwater, Oceans, and Explorers portal. Her work on the Genographic and Expedition: Genghis Khan projects developed success tactics for citizen science engagement and resulted in two Webby nominations. While at National Geographic, she spearheaded a personal project to document all remaining space shuttle launches from 2006-2011 and the decommissioning of the space shuttle program, interviewing many NASA team members. The resulting work was featured in The Washington Post and on blogs on National Geographic News.