Ali R. Malekzadeh, PhD, is in his ninth year as president of Roosevelt University. He is an expert in strategic management, leadership, and post-merger integration. He is an accomplished fundraiser and a visionary academic leader who has served in higher education for more than 30 years. He believes that access to higher education is every American’s right and the best pathway to achieving the American Dream. At Roosevelt, Malekzadeh champions the university’s mission of social and racial justice and is a frequent op-ed contributor to Chicago news outlets. He is passionate on issues of women’s and LGBTQ rights, immigration, diversity, equity, inclusion, and access to higher education. He is the recipient of Chicago’s Martin Luther King Jr. award in diversity from the Rainbow Coalition. One of Malekzadeh’s signature accomplishments is the creation of the American Dream Reconsidered Conference, an annual three-day event, free to the public, discussing issues related to law, politics, and the pursuit of the American Dream.
In 2019, Roosevelt acquired Robert Morris University–Illinois, and Malekzadeh ensured that the structure and culture of the two universities were integrated. The process included 35 task forces from the two universities to make sure the integration was successful.
Prior to Roosevelt, Malekzadeh served as the Edgerley Family Dean of the College of Business Administration at Kansas State University, where he increased annual fundraising to more than $40 million in 2014. Before becoming dean at Kansas State in 2011, Malekzadeh spent a combined 13 years as dean of the business schools at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He received the academic Administrator of the Year Award in the Minnesota State University system of 32 campuses. He previously held key administrative positions at Arizona State University West in Phoenix and taught strategic management at Northeastern University in Boston.
Malekzadeh and Afsaneh Nahavandi, PhD, professor of leadership at the University of San Diego, have co-authored two books: Organizational Behavior: The Person-Organization Fit, and Organizational Culture in the Management of Mergers. Malekzadeh has also written dozens of business-related articles and book chapters. He serves as a mentor to aspiring and current university presidents and provosts.
Malekzadeh earned his doctorate in business administration with an emphasis on strategic management from the University of Utah, and a bachelor’s in management and an MBA from the University of Denver.