Susan Rivers

Executive Director & Chief Scientist

iThrive Games

Susan Rivers, PhD, is an innovative learning experience designer/researcher. A social psychologist and expert in emotional intelligence, Susan has over two decades of experience co-designing responsive and immersive environments and experiences for deep learning and connection, for children, teens, young adults, parents, and professionals. She works with clients to design innovative pathways for integrating social and emotional learning in primary and secondary schools. She is a skilled facilitator, and has designed highly engaging programs for strengthening emotional intelligence skills, sense of belongingness and purpose, and community building. As Executive Director and Chief Scientist of the nonprofit iThrive Games Foundation, Susan designs games with and for youth, including two award-winning games, The Run Around, a tabletop game examining racial inequities in the juvenile justice system, and iThrive Sim, a digital role-playing game platform for civics learning and social and emotional skill building. Susan earned her doctorate at Yale University, was a lecturer in the Psychology Department at Skidmore College, and served on the research faculty in Yale's Department of Psychology where she was a co-founder of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Susan is founding Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Games, Self, and Society, the author of numerous scholarly publications and multiple curricula, and a Large-Scale Social Change Leadership Fellow with Billions Institute.