Professor of Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion

Professor Kurt April

Professor Kurt April

Dr. Kurt April is a Sainsbury Fellow and tenured professor of leadership, diversity and inclusion at the Graduate School of Business of the University of Cape Town (South Africa) – since 1998; programme director and faculty member of DukeCE (Duke University, USA) – since 2008; an associate fellow of Said Business School (University of Oxford, UK) – since 2001; research fellow of Ashridge (UK) – since 2005; and visiting professor at Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University, Netherlands) – since 2001. 

He is known for his inspirational and interactive teaching style, often challenging executives to think through bigger strategic- and personal dilemmas, as well as reflect on their greater purposes and roles in society. 

His core teaching topics are: inspirational leadership, personal resilience, mental models and innovative thinking/action, dialogue and listening strategies, responsible leadership and stewardship, servant leadership, psychological archetypes and the psychology of leadership, African leadership, diversity and inclusion, cross-culture and multiculturalism, guilt and shame, self-care and well-being, storytelling and narrative, character development and enhancement.

Outside of academia, Kurt also currently plays executive roles in business: managing partner of LICM Consulting (Management Consulting, Global), owner-director of Helderview BMW (Automobile Industry,South Africa), non-executive board director of Achievement Awards Group (Strategic Consulting & Performance Management, South Africa), non-executive holdings board director of the Power Group (Construction & Property Development, Africa), chairman of the International D&I Advisory Council to Novartis International (Pharmaceutical & Health Care, Switzerland), and member of the Special Agenda Council on Talent and Diversity of the World Economic Forum (International Affairs, Switzerland).

Previously, Kurt has held senior management and management positions in the financial services and insurance industries, energy sector, military sector, transport and hospitality sectors. He currently consults, and has consulted, to a range of industries/sectors, including: Shell International, Petronas, SABMiller, De Beers, AngloGold Ashanti, Standard Chartered Bank, Zurich Financial Services, IBM, Dutch Police Service, RWE, Etisalat, VW/MAN, Bosch, Novartis, Bayer, Lufthansa, Bayer, NHS, Thames Water, YPO, among others.

Kurt holds a Doctorate in Economics & Technology (PhD), Certificate in Japanese Production, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science in Electronic Engineering (MScElecEng), Higher Diploma in Education (HDE), Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BScElecEng), National Diploma in Electronics, National Diploma in Logic Systems, completed at the University of Cape Town (South Africa), University of Oxford (UK), Wingfield College (South Africa) and AOTS (Nagoya, Japan). 

He has published over 130 academic articles, and written eight books (with one more appearing in 2014, i.e., Personal Resilience).