Chief Partnership Officer
Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande
Dr. Akande is a Professor of Economics and Dean of George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology, Webster University. In addition, Dr. Akande serves as Webster University's Chief of the Office of Corporate Partnerships charged with forging partnerships with organizations and business worldwide. This work has resulted in collaboration with several global firms to ensure the attraction, retention, and development of talents in these organizations. Dean Akande holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oklahoma and post-doctoral studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and at the Saїd School of Business, Oxford University, in the areas of leadership and change. Dr. Akande's interests are diverse but connected: excellence, community, learning empowerment, and growth.
Dean Akande is regularly sought out as an economic commentator with appearances 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 “Market-Place.” Dr. Akande was recently recognized in the 2012 Class of Missourians You Should Know by Ingram's Magazine. He also 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).
Under his dynamic leadership, Webster's commitment to global education has been enhanced, setting a distinguished standard worldwide. Dr. Akande leads a group of diverse faculty and staff in the U.S. Europe, mainland China, Thailand, and Ghana. He has responsibility for the largest part of the University's annual operating budget, while serving more than 14,000 students and supported by 1,500 faculty members worldwide.
As Webster University's Chief of the Office of Corporate Partnerships, Dr. Akande has forged educational partnerships and alliances with such corporations as BJC HealthCare, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and other local and national organizations. He also has a successful record of collaboration with many companies and organizations in the world.
Dr. Akande is a trustee of the Saint Louis Art Museum, a board member of Beyond Housing, a nationally recognized provider of housing and support services for low-income families and homeowners. In addition, Dr. Akande is a director of Ralcorp Corporation, a publicly traded company—manufacturer and processor of the nation's largest high quality private label cereals, frozen foods, crackers, and nuts. He is a trustee of the Missouri Baptist Medical Center and the Jefferson National Parks Association and serves on the board of Rx Outreach. Dean Akande was recently named the 2012 Pillar in the Community of Clayton, Missouri, and recognized in the 2012 edition of the St. Louis Magazine's Power List. In addition, from 2007-2012, he was named among St. Louis's Most Influential Leaders by the St. Louis Business Journal.
Dean Akande is completing work on his latest manuscript 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 years old.
Dean 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 beyond the horizon and believes passionately that the future belongs to those who can see it.
He is married to Bola Taiwo-Akande, and they have three daughters.