Ekin Pellegrini elected president of Executive DBA Council

Ekin Pellegrini

Ekin Pellegrini, founding director of UMSL’s DBA Program, has been elected president of the Executive DBA Council. She will begin her term as president on July 1, 2024. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The Executive Doctorate in Business Administration Council has been working to foster excellence and innovation in executive doctoral degree programs around the globe since 2011, and it recently tapped Ekin Pellegrini, the associate dean of graduate business programs at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, to serve as its next president.

Pellegrini, who is the founding director of UMSL’s Doctor of Business Administration Program, brings nearly 30 years of business experience and a deep commitment to helping students and professionals with career development to her new role, which she will begin on July 1, 2024.

“This is a team achievement, and I’m grateful to the best staff in the history of any DBA program,” Pellegrini said. “I feel privileged to be chosen to lead the international council through an unprecedented and exciting time in higher education with tremendous potential to innovate and create societal impact through engaged scholarship.”

Her primary responsibilities will be to lead the council’s mission of ensuring excellence and innovation in global DBA programs and promote the value of engaged management scholarship. This will include: overseeing business affairs, carrying out board resolutions, promoting engaged scholarship through the council’s official outlet, Engaged Management ReView, managing the council’s annual Engaged Management Scholarship Conference and being its spokesperson.

Pellegrini, who has been a member of the EDBAC board since 2019, began her career as a human resources professional in her native Turkey working for global organizations, including Accenture, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

She then transitioned into academia and received her PhD in business administration at the University of Miami Herbert Business School in 2006 before joining the UMSL faculty as an assistant professor of management that same year.

Pellegrini, who earned promotion to associate professor and tenure in 2012, has served as the founding director of the College of Business Administration’s Executive Education Center, which offers noncredit programs to business professionals.

She went on to launch the DBA program in 2017. It remains Missouri’s first and only AACSB-accredited DBA program offering research concentrations in all areas of business administration.

This appointment to the president role of the Executive DBA Council board is a fitting achievement for the associate dean who’s demonstrated a deep dedication to professional development through academia.

Michael Elliott, interim dean of the College of Business Administration, believes Pellegrini’s appointment will be a boon to UMSL’s DBA Program.

“The College is very proud that Ekin has been named president of the Executive DBA Council,” he said. “The success of our DBA program is due in large part to Ekin’s student-centered approach. Ekin takes the time to meticulously address student needs and provide them with maximum flexibility in designing their research projects. I know she will bring the same dedication and energy to the Executive DBA Council.”

Pellegrini hopes her role on the council will also serve to elevate UMSL’s program.

“The UMSL DBA Program leading this organization is a testament to the scholarly rigor of our program and elevates our visibility, brand value and credibility,” Pellegrini said. “An esteemed DBA program attracts better faculty who aspire to conduct engaged business research with DBA scholars. Further, a quality DBA brand brings excellent students to our MBA and specialized master’s programs because they observe their executives enjoying the learning experience at UMSL DBA.”


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