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Executive Fellow in Leadership: Steven Snyder

Photo by David Sherman

Conducting research on "Leadership Through Peril and Adversity"

It has long been known that experience is the most powerful teacher. Leaders learn and grow when they immerse themselves in challenging situations. Yet, such situations involve considerable risk as well. New strategies must be invented. New paths charted. And leaders must overcome many obstacles – some external and some internal. 

Dr. Steven Snyder, the Executive Fellow in Leadership in the Opus College of Business, is engaged in research that will further our understanding of organizational leadership, specifically how leaders grow through times of peril and adversity. Snyder has developed a conceptual framework for leadership under peril that he is currently testing in his role as an executive fellow. To determine the dimensions of leadership in practice, Snyder’s is interviewing a diverse group of high-level business executives and organizational leaders.

For more information about the study >>


About Steven Snyder, Ph.D.

Steven Snyder is the Executive Fellow in Leadership in the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, and a Managing Director of the Snyder Leadership Group.          

Snyder was an early pioneer in the microcomputer software industry.  He joined Microsoft in 1983, and as IBM Account Manager, was credited by Bill Gates for the turnaround in Microsoft’s relationship with IBM.  In 1985, Snyder was promoted to General Manager of the Language Business Unit, where he led a team that received the PC Magazine Award for Technical Excellence in two consecutive years.  

In 1988, Snyder left Microsoft to begin work on a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Minnesota, which he completed in 1994. His dissertation research was on team effectiveness.  From 1993 to 1995, Snyder served as the Vice President of Software Product Development for Personnel Decisions International. In 1996, Snyder co-founded Net Perceptions, and served as CEO until 2001, and Board Chairman until 2002.  His work in Collaborative Filtering was cited by Malcolm Gladwell, and won him the first ever World Technology Award for “contributing to the advance of emerging technologies for the benefit of business and society”.   

Snyder has taught business ethics at the Carlson School of Management and served as an Executive in Residence at the Center for Integrative Leadership at the University of Minnesota.  He has also taught in the Executive MBA program in Warsaw, Poland.   In 2008, he was invited to deliver the 17th Annual JRD Tata Oration in Business Ethics, in Jamshedpur India, where he spoke on Triple Bottom Line Accountability. 

Snyder currently serves as President of Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka.  He has previously served on the boards of Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Foundation of Minneapolis, and Hillel at the University of Minnesota.   

In addition to his Ph.D. in psychology, Snyder holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Drexel University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.

Contact information for Steven Snyder:
Campus Phone:  651-962-4843
Cell Phone:  612-964-6606
Email:  snyd4254@stthomas.edu