Valuing Excellence in Leadership, Benjamin Ola Akande, Ph.D., shows that the future belongs to those who can see it.
Dr. Akande is the 21st President of Westminster College, a 165-year institution. Previously, he was tenured Professor of Economics and Dean, George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology, Webster University. Dr. Akande also served as Webster University’s Chief of Office of Corporate Partnerships, charged with forging partnerships with organizations and businesses around the world on behalf of Webster University. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oklahoma and has completed post-doctoral studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Saїd School of Business at Oxford University. Dr. Akande’s interests are diverse but connected: excellence, community, teaching and learning, empowerment, and growth. He is a results-oriented leader with strategic vision, proven experience in corporate and nonprofit sectors and is widely-known and respected for his versatility in assuming challenging and demanding responsibilities and leading multiple projects simultaneously. He has an outstanding record of meeting and exceeding organizational goals. An excellent communicator, Dr. Akande has demonstrated the ability to establish rapport and connect with diverse constituencies at all levels, as well as in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He is renowned for his expertise in the areas of global strategy, marketing, higher education and leadership.
Dr. Akande is regularly sought out as an economic and policy commentator by prominent news outlets. He has appeared on Anderson Cooper 360, the CBS Evening News, and St. Louis affiliates of FOX, ABC and NBC. His commentaries have appeared in USA TODAY and on public radio’s “Marketplace.” He consults for leading Fortune 500 companies in the areas of strategy, leadership, corporate responsibility and market positioning. He is a former consultant to the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
“Find meaning in every conversation – it’s not how long the conversation lasts; it’s how good it is.”
— Benjamin Ola Akande
Under his dynamic leadership, Webster’s commitment to global education was significantly enhanced, setting a distinguished standard worldwide. Dr. Akande led diverse faculty and staff in the U.S. Europe, China, Thailand, and Ghana. He had responsibility for the largest part of the University’s annual operating budget. As Dean of the Walker School, he was responsible for more than 12,000 students and approximately 1,200 faculty members. As Webster University’s Chief of the Office of Corporate Partnerships, Dr. Akande forged educational partnerships and alliances with over 200 corporate partners in two years. Corporate partners included Boeing, Bank of America, Edward Jones, Monsanto, Wal-Mart and Thomas Reuters.
Dr. Akande is Vice Chair of the Board of Argent Capital, a $3 billion asset management company, a member of the Board of Directors of Enterprise Bank & Trust and a trustee of the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Club and Forest Park Forever. He was named the 2012 Pillar of the Community of Clayton, Missouri. Dr. Akande was named one of St. Louis’s Most Influential Leaders by the St. Louis Business Journal. He is a member of Missouri Council for a Better Economy, an organization charged with exploring unification of the St. Louis City and St. Louis County, as well as bolstering economic growth in Missouri, especially in the St. Louis region.
Dean Akande is working on a book entitled The iPOD Generation: It's Their World, We're Just Living In It, a comprehensive analysis of the emerging generation between the ages of 16 and 32.
Benjamin Akande is a visionary, dynamic, and entrepreneurial leader with a passion for excellence. He is a judicious risk-taker who is responsive to all stakeholders and decisive in following a course once it’s been set. He relishes the possibilities that come when one dares to look around the corner and believes passionately that the future belongs to those who can see it.
He is married with three adult daughters.
President's Executive Team
President Akande has made it his personal mission to lead with integrity, forge partnerships, and bring the best and brightest to lead alongside him. You'll find this in his executive team, his cabinet, and all over the campus of Westminster College. Please don't hesitate to reach out to your executive team as you embark on this next generation of leadership at Westminster College.
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