Derek Dean joins the Center for Executive Education (CEE) as its new CEO today (April 29), bringing more than two decades of experience in consulting at The Exetor Group and McKinsey & Co.
Dean most recently worked at Exetor, where he designed and delivered development programs and coached executives and teams in the technology, advertising, professional services, and basic materials industries. Before that, he worked at McKinsey from 1990 to 2010, leading the firm's global semiconductor practice for 10 years and then managing the firm's San Francisco office.
"Derek's unique experience in strategy consulting at McKinsey and leadership development at Exetor will be a tremendous asset for CEE’s ambitious growth plan," says Dean Rich Lyons. "We are fortunate to have a leader of such outstanding caliber taking the helm at CEE at this critical time."
Dean's arrival comes after CEE's April 1 restructuring into self-supporting, affiliated nonprofit of the Haas School in order to grow faster and help meet the school's financial goals. Under the new structure, the unit’s profits will continue to flow to the Haas School, with a portion also going to UC Berkeley. CEE has become a significant source of revenue that supports academic areas and operations of the Haas School.
"The creation of a new entity opens up an opportunity to revolutionize the way education is delivered to corporate executives," Derek Dean says. "The new model also enables CEE to rapidly expand our custom programs and integrate content into those programs across not just Haas but other schools on campus to create unique interdisciplinary offerings."
"What I love about CEE is this notion of a consulting model working with clients to figure out what they need for their people to be more effective and to help them solve their problems by providing provocative ideas, tools, and maybe the environment outside of their office to really think creatively," he adds.
At McKinsey, Dean worked intensively with clients on specific projects or problems, helping them find solutions or drive change programs. His work at Exetor, meanwhile, focused much more on helping individual leaders overcome barriers in culture, mindset, or leadership that were preventing them from achieving their full potential.
"At CEE, I see a great opportunity to blend those two models from McKinsey and Exetor with the incredibly distinctive knowledge embodied in the faculty at Haas and the entire university," Dean says. He can't talk specifically about past clients, but says, "I'm attracted to problems that seem impossible. The most exciting clients I have had have been CEOs or other leaders who have said 'I want to change the world, I want to change the model, I want to reinvent this industry or this market, and I'm asking for help.'"
Dean earned an MBA from Stanford and a BA in American studies at Carleton College in Minnesota. He lives in San Francisco and has a 2-year-old son and another child on the way, due in September. He is a member of the San Francisco Symphony board of governors and vice chairman of the San Francisco SPCA board of directors.