Dr. Benjamin Akande

Senior Vice President, Global Human Resource Enterprise, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Lead Director of Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) at Stifel Financial Corporation NYSE: SF, a 130 year old financial service holding company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with $4.7 billion in revenue, $8 billion in market capitalization. c.  He ignited the c commitment and actions around diversity, inclusion and belonging.  He led to fruition of Champlain 2030, a vision and strategic plan, the foundation for future success.  Dr. Akande also served as Assistant Vice Chancellor of International Programs-Africa, Director of the African Initiative, and Associate Director of the Global Health Center at Washington University in St. Louis. He also chaired Washin International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC).   Dr. Akande served as the 21st President of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri from 2015-2017. He was the first person of color to lead the storied 172-year-old institution. As President, he made long-term sustainability. This included transforming academic offerings, outreach, budgeting, financial modeling, marketing and rebranding, communication and institutional advancement.   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 enhancing and positioning it as a globally relevant business school. He developed numerous corporate-donor partnerships which helped secure the largest donation in the  Dr. Akande holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oklahoma and completed post-doctoral studies at JFK School of Government at Harvard University and Saïd Business School at Oxford University.  Dr. Akande, a Nigerian-born American citizen is a respected economist, scholar, and global consultant to Fortune 500 companies and institutions in higher education; specifically in the areas of strategy, leadership development, corporate responsibility and market positioning.  A results-oriented leader, Dr. Akande is admired for his ability to connect with diverse constituencies at all levels in public, private and non-profit sectors. He possesses a wealth of business skills, honed by decades of experience working for and leading entrepreneurial and mission and purpose-driven organizations. He implements strategic initiatives with confidence and expertise and knows how to balance business goals with a mission.  An engaging and compelling communicator, Dr. Akande is regularly sought out as a commentator by national media. He has appeared on Anderson Cooper 360, CBS Evening News and St. Louis affiliates of FOX, ABC and NBC. His commentaries have appeared in USA TODAY, Financial Times and on National Marketplace. Dr. Akande served on the Board of Argent Capital, a $4 billion asset management company, and on the Board of Enterprise Bank & Trust ($5 billion assets), serving on the Regulatory and Compliance Committee. 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, Voith, SeaWorld, and other global corporations.  He currently serves on the non-profit boards of the St. Louis Art Museum, The MUNY, and Forest Park Forever – one of the nation’s largest public parks. In addition, Dr. Akande is a member of the Danforth Plant Science Center Leadership Council. He is on the Advisory Board of FDC Fundação Dom Cabral, the top-ranked business school in Brazil.  Dr. Akande is a director on the board of Vi-Jon, a St. Louis headquartered health and beauty care company. For more than thirty years as a professor and leader, Dr. Akande has worked to transform public and private institutions and organizations for the better. He is passionately committed to the success of people in organizations and takes pride in nurturing, mentoring and inspiring students and colleagues, as well as other leaders. With the experience to recognize when to take calculated risks and the confidence to make tough decisions, Dr. Akande believes the future belongs to those who can see it.  Dr. Akande and his wife, Bola, a pharmacist and entrepreneur, have three daughters, ages 29, 27 and 21.