Excellence in Leadership

global mindset & leadership story = BENJAMIN OLA AKANDE, PH.D.


Valuing Excellence in Leadership, Benjamin Ola Akande, Ph.D., shows that the future belongs to those who can see it.

Photos by Rebecca Barr, TuSquare Studio

Dr. Akande is tenured Professor of Economics and Dean, George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology, Webster University. Dr. Akande also serves as Webster University’s Chief of Office of Corporate Partnerships, charged with forging partnerships with organizations and businesses on behalf of Webster University worldwide. Dean Akande holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oklahoma and has completed post- doctoral studies at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Saїd School of Business, Oxford University. Dr. Akande’s interests are diverse but connected: excellence, community, teaching and learning, empowerment, and growth. He is a result- 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 with 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, public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and his experience is acknowledged in the area of global strategy, marketing, higher education, and leadership.

Dean Akande is regularly sought out as an economic and policy 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 “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 has been enhanced, setting a distinguished standard worldwide. Dr. Akande leads diverse faculty and staff in the U.S. Europe, China, Thailand, and Ghana. He has responsibility for the largest part of the University’s annual operating budget, while serving more than 12,000 students and supported by 1,200 faculty members.

As Webster University’s Chief of the Office of Corporate Partnerships, Dr. Akande has forged educational partnerships and alliances with over 200 corporate partners in two years. The list includes such corporations as Boeing, Bank of America, Edward Jones, Monsanto, Wal-Mart, Thomas Reuters, just to name a few.

Dr. Akande is Vice Chair of the Board of Argent Capital, a $2 billion asset management company, a member of the Board of Directors of Enterprise Bank & Trust and a Trustee of the Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Jefferson National Parks Association, Saint Louis Club and Forest Park Forever. Dean Akande was named the 2012 Pillar of the Community of Clayton, Missouri, and recognized in the 2012 edition of the St. Louis Magazine’s Power List. From 2007-2012, Dean Akande was named by the St. Louis Business Journal among St. Louis’s Most Influential Leaders. Dr. Akande 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 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.

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.



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A dynamic, engaging, and inspirational speaker with a knack for audience connection,  Benjamin Akande  speaks frequently nationally and internationally on a variety of critically important matters relevant today and tomorrow. Example Topics:

  • Leadership Through Storytelling
  • Perseverance and Resilience
  • Industry Insight
  • Politics
  • The IPOD Generation
  • The Keys to Networking
  • Strategy Execution




Benjamin Akande has more than 20 years of consulting with Fortune 500 companies and private enterprises in a wide variety of industries with special attention to leadership and corporate culture. As a corporate board member and high-performing executive, Benjamin has seen many sides of organizations from many roles. He's prepared to help your organization see around the corner on the toughest challenges you face.

Areas of Practice

  • Higher Education Leadership
  • Comparative Analysis
  • Leadership Development
  • Corporate Diversity
  • Corporate Culture and Change
  • Benchmarking
  • Market Positioning and Branding
  • Corporate Strategy

Benjamin Akande has worked closely with many corporations, including:

  • Anheuser Busch
  • Express Scripts
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car


Inquire About Consulting Opportunities

Benjamin & Stephanie practicing

Dear Friends,

On January 24, 2015 I was fortunate to participate as a contestant in the Independence Center's Dancing with the St. Louis Stars. My dance partner, Stephanie Medeiros and I placed 2nd among the 5 teams, collectively raising over $425,000 for the Independence Center. I danced with the St. Louis stars to raise awareness of and financial support for the sustainability of the center, which is an indispensable community resource. 

Thanks to all of you for your financial and emotional support as we prepared for this challenge. It was made possible by your generosity!

Thank you,
Benjamin Ola. Akande

Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University, will join community leaders at Independence Center’s annual benefit, Dancing with the St. Louis Stars, on Jan. 24 at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.  The event supports Independence Center in its mission to assist adults who are living with serious and persistent mental illness.

In preparation for the event, Akande is working with professional dancer Stephanie Medeiros to choreograph a routine – a hip-hop and African-inspired number – which the couple will perform live at the Dancing with the Stars event. The winning couple will be chosen based on the amount of money raised, and Akande has set a personal goal of raising $30,000Votes can be cast online, and each vote equals $10.  All proceeds benefit Independence Center, and there is no limit to the number of votes cast.

“I am honored to participate in Independence Center’s Dancing with the St. Louis Stars benefit,” Akande said.  “Mental illness is a challenging diagnosis, but it is not a journey people should take alone. Together, we can ensure that people facing this challenge receive the treatment they need to have a buoyant  livelihood moving forward.”

Cast your vote for Akande and Medeiros. Like Akande’s Facebook page.

About Independence Center

In 2014, Independence Center celebrated its 33rd year of providing comprehensive programs and services to adults with severe and persistent mental illness.  Proceeds from Dancing with the St. Louis Stars will help restore lives through promoting rehabilitation and employment, as well as providing educational, social and housing opportunities that assist adults living with severe and mental illness to live and work in the community, independently and with dignity.

Read the Press Release >