Susannah Lees-Jeffries was born in Christchurch and studied at Victoria University of Wellington. She began her arts marketing career at Chamber Music New Zealand. In 2001 she moved to London and to senior development roles at Wigmore Hall, including managing the public phase of a £3m capital appeal, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where she was Head of Fundraising Appeals and Communications from 2004 – 2011. Susie returned to New Zealand at the beginning of 2012 to take up her role at the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Highlights to date include significant long-term partnerships with Vodafone and Ryman Healthcare, overseeing a more than three-fold increase in philanthropic support by individuals, and securing a major grant from the Lottery Grants Board World War One Fund towards the RNZB’s Salute programme with the New Zealand Army Band (2015).