Meet the Dean

David M. Steele, Business School Dean, Blue Chip and High-Tech Background

Dr. Steele joined San Jose State University (SJSU) in July, 2008 as Dean, Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, responsible for about 5,500 business students. Previously, he was Dean of the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, a private university with about 2,300 business students. It includes the prestigious Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies. Dr. Steele was also Professor and Dean of the College of Business at Florida Institute of Technology, a private university focusing on science, engineering and business in the Florida “Space Coast”. The College provided business courses to over 500 students.

Dr. Steele also has over 25 years of richly varied executive experience in global business development, finance, and engineering in the petroleum and IT industries. He rose through the ranks of Chevron Corporation (ranked Fortune # 9 today) to become President of Chevron Latin America. He had a broadly diversified career track in R&D, project engineering, finance, strategic planning, and IT before moving to senior executive management as Vice President Finance of a $7.3 billion division; and to operational positions, including President of Chevron Latin America. Responsible for activities in over 30 countries, he managed complex engineering projects in countries with difficult social, economic and political environments; and chaired the operating committee of an international consortium.

After leaving Chevron, Dr. Steele was an Executive Consultant to the founders of 4 international early-stage ventures, providing strategic, financial, and operational expertise and developing and executing worldwide strategic alliances. He also served as Interim CEO of one of these ventures, Online Resolution, Inc., a software startup. In addition, he was Interim CEO of a non-profit educational foundation based in The Netherlands, Kids 2020 Foundation, that helps children make better choices for themselves based on values.

At SJSU, he is building on the College’s strengths by enhancing academic quality and student success; and by emphasizing practical business knowledge and global business education - the International Business concentration, the Study Abroad program, the new Thompson Global Internship Program, the new Global Leadership Advancement Center, and the SJSU Salzburg Program. Other priorities are to dramatically increase external funding ($50 million target for the College as part of the recent SJSU $200 million campaign), increase the size and reputation of the Lucas Graduate School, and strengthen ties with corporate, employer and industry associations. He is a member of the advisory boards of 1st ACT (Arts/Creativity/Technology) Silicon Valley and the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley; and is a judge for the Ethics Initiative for MBA students sponsored by the Rotary Club.

Born in Venezuela of Hispanic heritage, Dr. Steele-Figueredo attended BirminghamUniversity in England, receiving BS and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering. He later completed graduate business trainingat UC Berkeley and at the WhartonSchool. He has achieved distinction as an industry leader for programs on safety, educational, and environmental issues and was awarded the prestigious Rafael Urdaneta Medal for outstanding public service in Venezuela. He has lived in 8 countries in South America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean and is fluent in Spanish.