We are delighted to announce the appointment of Susan McConkey as Opera Parallèle’s new Board President, succeeding outgoing president Robert Ripps at the conclusion of his term.

“Susan is ideally suited to lead this organization going forward,” says Robert Ripps. “Her skills and experience, not to mention love of contemporary opera, will help fortify the groundwork that has been laid by my board colleagues as we continue to work to provide resources to solidify the underpinning and grow the infrastructure to support the extraordinary creative work of our artistic team led by Nicole Paiement and Brian Staufenbiel.”

“I am thrilled that Susan has agreed to become our next President,” adds OP Artistic Director Nicole Paiement. “She is a true champion of our work, a brilliant strategic thinker, and fierce advocate for importance of the arts in our lives. I can’t wait to see where her leadership takes us.”


Susan McConkey is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), partnering with staff, faculty, and students to implement the Conservatory’s bold strategic plan, including the launch of a new brand and website for SFCM in January of this year. Her work supports the mission and operations of the Conservatory through business-driven technology projects and the improvement of business processes.

The technical foundation of McConkey’s career was at Tandem Computers, Compaq and Hewlett Packard where she held senior positions in software development. In 2005, she joined the San Francisco Opera as its first Chief Information Officer, where she led the modernization of systems and business processes and championed the use of technology and new media to reach new audiences. Prior to joining the Conservatory staff in January 2015, she spent two years as a Client Principal at ThoughtWorks Inc., a boutique software consulting firm.

A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a proud resident of San Francisco, Susan has been an avid supporter of the arts in San Francisco and the Bay Area, and is a strong supporter of women in technology. She is also a member of the San Francisco Civic Center Community Benefit Board.