Dr. Vanessa Iwowo is Programme Director, MSc. HRD & Consultancy and Lecturer in Organizational Psychology at the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, Birkbeck, University of London and also Visiting Fellow to the LSE Firoz Lalji Africa Centre where she lectures on the Programme for African Leadership (PfAL). She is an award-winning management scholar whose research focuses on ways of enhancing leadership development in multinational/cross-cultural contexts with a particular interest in Africa. Her interests lie in the critical study of processes, interactions and power relationships through which knowledge is generated and disseminated, particularly in the fields of leadership development and management education. Before joining Birkbeck, Vanessa taught Leadership and Decision Sciences at the London School of Economics (LSE) and previously at the Centre for Leadership Studies (CLS), University of Exeter Business School, from where she also received her PhD in Leadership Studies.
Her research in Critical Leadership Studies is internationally recognized and her doctoral thesis on Leadership Development in Africa received the prestigious US Academy of Management (AoM) ‘Best Dissertation Prize’ in Critical Management Studies. Since then, Vanessa’s work on Leadership Development has gone on to win several awards such as the notable ‘Emerald Literati Award for Excellence’ in 2016, Academy of Management (AoM) ‘Best Critical Paper’ Award for 2016 and in 2017, she was awarded the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for Gender and Leadership Development in Africa. She is a keen Academic, Consultant and Leadership Development Expert and sits also on the Commonwealth Panel of Experts.
When not working, Vanessa enjoys composing and recording music.