On June 3, 2015

Bob Mai


Bob Mai focuses on research that guides organization effectiveness. He is the author of Leader as Communicator (AMACOM).

Dr. Bob Mai has worked with private, public and nonprofit organizations to improve individual and organizational performance. Currently his special interests include leadership communication, employee engagement and change management. For 15 years Bob was an executive with Maritz Performance Improvement, where he directed the training design practice, working with Fortune 500 clients in financial services, healthcare, automotive, airlines and energy industries. Later he served as internal communications and change management practice manager at Fleishman-Hillard.

Bob Mai held earlier positions with several nonprofit organizations, including KETC, where he built the precursor of Video Nine.  He also founded and served as co-director of the Center for Organizational Learning at Saint Louis University, where he taught graduate courses in organizational theory and development. He currently teaches a graduate management course at Washington University’s Brown School. Bob is the author of Leader as Communicator (AMACOM), served as a Peace Corps Volunteer and was a fellow in Leadership St. Louis.

A resident of St. Louis since 1975, he earlier served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Northern Nigeria. Bob was also a fellow in the first FOCUS Leadership St. Louis class. He earned a doctorate in learning psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an MA in English from the University of Rochester, and a BA in English from Columbia.


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Book publications

  • The Leader as Communicator: Strategies and Tactics to Build Community, Focus Effort, and Spark Creativity (AMACOM, 2003) [translated editions in Japanese and Korean; reprinted by Prentice-Hall of India, 2008]
  • Learning Partnerships: How Leading American Companies Implement Organizational Learning (Irwin/ASTD, 1996)


Selected professional articles

  • “Going Deep Within, to the Discomfort Zone: St. Louis Program Battles Racism,” (with D. Holmes), Journal of Staff Development (Fall 2006)
  • “Learning Through Partnering: Lessons for Organizational and Community Renewal,” (with T. Kramer, C. Luebbert), Journal of Community Practice (Vol. 13(2) 2005).
  • “Coaching for Learning: Lessons for Organizational Renewal,” The Psychologist-Manager Journal (Vol. 6, No.1, 2003)
  • “Closing the Loop,” Strategic Communication Management (January/February 2000)
  • “Branding Begins in the Home,” Journal of Employee Communications Management (September/October, 1999)
  • “Communication for the Learning Organization,” Strategic Communication Management (June/July 1998)


University graduate courses taught

  • Personnel Management and Supervision (Brown School)
  • Organizational Theory (Saint Louis University)
  • Organizational Development (Saint Louis University)


Board and committee activity

  • Vision for Children at Risk Board of Directors
  • Center for Educational Equity Advisory Board
  • Citizens for Missouri’s Children Board (President)
  • White House Conference on Education Board
  • Child Daycare Association Board
  • Webster Groves School District Foundation (President)
  • Webster Groves 2000
  • Special School District Advisory Committee
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