Woodbury University Names David M. Steele-Figueredo as New President

University Recruits Respected Global Business Executive, Current Dean of San Jose State University’s Lucas College & Graduate School of Business

BURBANK, Calif. (October 14, 2015) – David M. Steele-Figueredo, Ph.D., a seasoned international business leader who for the past seven years has served as Dean of San Jose State University’s Lucas College & Graduate School of Business, has been named President of Woodbury University, the university announced today. The appointment, which concludes a six-month nationwide search, is effective November 16, 2015.

Steele-Figueredo succeeds Interim President David P. Dauwalder, who served until Steele-Figueredo’s appointment and will resume his previous role as Woodbury’s Executive Vice President and Provost. The Presidential Search Committee, headed by Board of Trustees Chairman Lawrence Hurwitz, was comprised of trustees Ronald Altoon, David Blitz, Joe De Briyn, Scott Kohno, Barry Kurtz, Greg Lippe, Pegi Matsuda, Malcolm McNeil, Curt Pringle, David St. Amant, and Bill Thomas.

“David Steele-Figueredo’s vast global business experience and extensive record of building innovative academic and other programs that bring value to students, employers and communities truly distinguished him from the other fine candidates we considered,” Hurwitz said. “We were particularly impressed with the culture of openness, collegiality and collaboration he has fostered in all of his roles and look forward to putting his considerable talents to work on behalf of the entire Woodbury community.”

“My commitment to the Woodbury community is to strengthen the university’s brand, its reputation and its special place in the market — and to begin to do so immediately,” Steele-Figueredo said. “Among my top priorities: student success, fundraising and alumni engagement, enrollment and program portfolio management, and embracing Entrepreneurship, one of the four pillars of a Woodbury education, as a new degree program and/or an institute. Woodbury truly does transform lives, and I’m honored to be here at this pivotal moment in the university’s development.”

Before beginning his academic career, Dr. Steele-Figueredo played a variety of strategic roles with Chevron, including senior strategic planner and financial analyst on the Chevron-Gulf merger team, head of corporate IT, leader of an exploration and production technology team, and executive in charge of overseeing the rapid growth of Chevron’s worldwide data, voice, microwave and satellite communication networks. He later served as comptroller, vice president of finance for Chevron USA Exploration and Production Co. and vice president and general manager of its Mid-Continent business unit. In 1996, he was named president of Chevron Latin America, leading start-up operations for a new business unit that grew annual revenues to $1.3 billion in three years and orchestrating a major acquisition in Argentina.

In 1999, he left the energy business to serve as interim CEO of Online Resolution, Inc., where he provided counsel to four international early stage ventures and led an online software start-up that licensed web-based arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution services for e-commerce. That led to an opportunity to serve as Dean of Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University, from 2002–2005, and from 2005-2006 as a professor and Dean of the College of Business at the Florida Institute of Technology, where he led an accelerated program to gain AACSB accreditation and launch International Business, Executive MBA and Executive Leadership programs.

From 2007-2008, Steele-Figueredo was interim CEO of the Kids 2020 Foundation, a not-for-profit learning and research organization that helps children in grades K-12 learn to make better choices based on values through a multi-cultural, multi-lingual program. He remains a member of its foundation board.

Since joining San Jose State University as Dean of its Graduate School of Business in 2008, Steele-Figueredo has enhanced academic quality and student success through its Sbona Honors Program and a portfolio of 11 Master’s Degree programs in the Lucas Graduate School of Business, including five that are in partnership with the Colleges of Science and Engineering. He initiated the Thompson Global Internship Program (the only global internship program for business undergraduates in the nation), strengthened ties with Silicon Valley corporations and industry by implementing new Centers of Excellence, energized faculty through new research incentives and technologies, and raised almost $40 million during a recent fund-raising campaign.

San Jose State University is the number one supplier of education, engineering, computer science and business graduates to Silicon Valley, the world’s high tech capital. According to the San Jose Mercury News, “few institutions have been as crucial to Silicon Valley’s success as San Jose State University, which trains many of the engineers, software designers and tech savvy business people who keep the Valley’s technology machine rolling.”

Born in Venezuela, Steele-Figueredo attended Birmingham University in England, where he earned B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering. He later completed graduate business training at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of advisory boards for 1st ACT (Arts/Creativity/Technology) Silicon Valley, the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. He was awarded the prestigious Rafael Urdanata Medal for public service in Venezuela, and has been active with the United Way, Boy Scouts of America and Junior Achievement. He is fluent in Spanish and, in addition to England and Venezuela, has lived in Japan, Belgium, Spain, Barbados and Trinidad. He is married and has two married sons.

About Woodbury University

Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. With campuses in Burbank/Los Angeles and San Diego, the university offers bachelor’s degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media, Culture & Design, and College of Transdisciplinarity, along with a Master of Arts in Media for Social Justice, Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Interior Architecture (MIA), Master of Science in Architecture (MSArch), and Master of Leadership.  The San Diego campus offers Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture, Master of Interior Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees, as well as an MSArch degree with concentrations in Real Estate Development and Landscape + Urbanism. DesignIntelligence has ranked the Interior Architecture BFA #2 in the West. Woodbury ranks 15th among the nation’s “25 Colleges That Add the Most Value,” according to Money Magazine and is a 2014-2015 College of Distinction. Visit woodbury.edu for more information.

Media Contact
Ken Greenberg
Edge Communications, Inc.
(323) 469-3397
[email protected]


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