Dr. OJ Oleka

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Leadership of Self: The Power of Personal Narrative

Location: Todd Hall | 10:45 - 11:45 AM


Leaders are often called to solve complex problems, create community impact, and manage large teams. Each of these tasks is made infinitely more challenging if the leader does not know who they are or why they lead. Through the power of personal narrative, leaders can learn from their own identity and develop a leadership style in which they are comfortable, and through which they can succeed at any endeavor. But first, they must learn how to lead themselves. Hear from OJ Oleka as he discusses the importance of leading self through the power of personal narrative. OJ will speak on four specific personal stories that every leader should have: the story of power, the story of pain, the story of promise, and the story of purpose.  


About OJ Oleka, Ph.D.

LinkedIn | Twitter @OJOleka


Dr. OJ Oleka is the President of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU). AIKCU advocates for higher education policies at the state and federal level and collaborative practices amongst its members that will lead to increased affordability and access to postsecondary opportunities for all Kentuckians at each of the 18 AIKCU member institutions. Prior to AIKCU, Dr. Oleka was the Deputy Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, where he worked on policy that streamlined government, developed the financial literacy standards for the Kentucky Department of Education, and protected the property rights of Kentuckians.


Dr. Oleka graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a minor in Political Science. At UofL, Dr. Oleka was Student Body President and Chairman of the Kentucky Board of Student Body Presidents. After graduation, Dr. Oleka joined Teach For America and taught middle school math in St. Louis. 


Dr. Oleka also has an MBA from Bellarmine University and a PhD in Leadership in Higher Education. As a published researcher, Dr. Oleka has focused on college affordability and systems alignment between school districts, postsecondary institutions, and the business community. Dr. Oleka is passionate about ending generational poverty through educational opportunity and economic mobility. Dr. Oleka lives in Louisville, KY, where he serves on the education and workforce development committee for the local chamber of commerce. He lives with his wife Jamie, and their dog Ashe.