Susan Cates

Executive Director, MBA@UNC
President, Executive Development

photo of Susan Cates UNC

Susan E. Cates is the Executive Director of MBA@UNC in addition to serving as the President of Executive Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Prior to joining UNC, Susan was a partner with Best Associates, a private equity firm with investments primarily in the education sector, based in Dallas. A North Carolina native, Susan earned her MBA from Kenan-Flagler, where she was a Julian Robertson/Tiger Fellow and a Dean’s Scholar. She received her BA from Duke University in public policy studies, where she was a Benjamin N. Duke Leadership Scholar.

At Best Associates, Susan specialized in investments in the education sector. Since 2004, she led the identification, acquisition and oversight of multiple domestic and international companies operating in the education sector. Her work involved projects in Brazil, China, Colombia and the United States.

Prior to joining Best Associates, Susan was part of the founding team of ThinkEquity Partners, where she headed the education investment banking practice with responsibility for business development, client relationships and deal execution. She was a principal of the boutique investment bank in New York, which she co-founded with former colleagues from Merrill Lynch & Co. She worked in investment banking at Merrill Lynch in New York, as well as in corporate lending at Wachovia Bank in Atlanta.

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