Colonel (Ret) Suzanne Wheeler is a lifetime Kansas resident who commissioned from the Jawhawk R.O.T. C. Battalion and has a bachelors degrees in Psychology and Special Education from Emporia State University. She earned her Masters of Arts in International Policy and Strategic Studies at the United States Army War College. She held commands at the Company, Battalion, and Brigade levels and is a combat veteran. Wheeler was the most senior out transgender active duty military member at the time of her retirement. She played a significant role in the lifting of the transgender ban and the development of policies to integrate transgender military members.
Suzanne currently serves as a Senior Program Coordinator at the Collaborative to Advance Health Services at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, School of Nursing and Health Sciences. In her role with the Collaborative, she facilitates numerous projects focused on training the U.S. HIV workforce, reproductive health providers, and substance abuse prevention professionals. Many of these projects are focused on improving cultural competence and service delivery to the LGBTQ+ community.
She is a well-known and published policy advocate who assisted numerous governmental, for-profit, and non-profit organizations, businesses, with improving their outcomes by cultivating their inclusion of transgender and veteran employees, patients, and customers. She has testified multiple times in front of the Senate and House Armed services committees. Her most recent testimony concerned the reinstatement of the ban on transgender military members. Suzanne is involved with advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQIA and Veterans communities by serving on several committees and boards at the local, state, and national level.
Suzanne lives in Mission Kansas with her fiancé and partner Marsha. She is the parent of four children. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting, bike riding, attending theater productions, the symphony, and traveling.