Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande is Senior Adviser to the Chancellor and Director of the Africa Initiative at Washington University in St. Louis. He was appointed by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton in March 2018 to strengthen and expand the University’s efforts in Africa.
Dr. Akande is a respected economist, scholar and global consultant to Fortune 500 companies and institutions in the higher education space in the areas of strategy, leadership development, corporate responsibility and market positioning. He served as a director of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc., a $5 billion publicly traded manufacturer of high quality private food labels, including Post, and has consulted for corporations such as Anheuser-Busch, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, SeaWorld, U.S. Bank and many others.
Dr. Akande served as the 21st President of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri from 2015-2017.
As tenured Professor of Economics and Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University in St. Louis from 2000-2015, Dr. Akande is credited with building the school’s reputation, and positioning it as a globally relevant business school.
Dr. Akande holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oklahoma and completed post-doctoral studies at JFK School of Government, Harvard University and Saïd Business School at Oxford University.
Dr. Akande currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Argent Capital, a $4 billion asset management company. He is a member of the Board of Enterprise Bank & Trust ($5 billion assets), serving on the Regulatory and Compliance Committee.
With the experience to recognize when to take calculated risks and the confidence to make tough business decisions, Dr. Akande believes that the future belongs to those who can see it. He and his wife, Bola, a pharmacist, have three adult daughters.