Susan Miller ’81
Telecomm association CEO bridges technology and law
by Michelle Simmons
September 1, 2010
“I always say I’m a lawyer by training and an engineer by osmosis,” says Susan Miller '81.
As president and CEO of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), a leading professional association based in Washington, D.C., Susan Miller ’81 has not only witnessed a global revolution in technology but has helped guide that transformation.
Miller, who double-majored in English literature and fine arts, says she “stumbled into the industry” while attending law school at Catholic University of America. After a stint with Wall Street law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, she became general counsel for ATIS in 1988. “I always say I’m a lawyer by training and an engineer by osmosis,” she quips.
Since taking the helm of ATIS in 1999, Miller has been at the forefront of communications innovations—broadband, wireless, cloud computing, IPTV (internet protocol TV)—as well as their most pressing challenges: cyber security, environmental sustainability and globalization. She also advises the Federal Communications Commission and the State and Commerce departments and recently was appointed to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Federal Advisory Committee on Smart Grid. In 2010, industry publication FierceTelecom named Miller among its Top 10 Women in Wireline.
“There’s a certain inquisitiveness and curiosity that was engendered during my time at Dickinson,” says Miller. “That’s not something that’s easily quantified, but it’s turned out to be hugely useful in the world of technology that is moving so quickly and which demands that complex things be taken apart.”