Ambassador J. Steven Rhodes

2019 Speaker

Claiborne-Rhodes International, LLC

Ambassador J. Steven Rhodes was nominated by President George Bush to be the United States Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Zimbabwe, and served his country diligently.
Bringing with him his development and financial management expertise, Ambassador Rhodes established new lines of communication with the Zimbabwe government, resulting in a better bilateral relationship. During his tenure, he developed and implemented United States foreign policy in Zimbabwe. He also established, coordinated and implemented management goals for the United States Embassy, the United States Agency for International Development and the United States Information Services, which included 110 employees. Most notably, Ambassador Rhodes led the team that negotiated the signing of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation Agreement, and successfully negotiated a treaty to establish the Peace Corps in Zimbabwe.

Presently, Ambassador Rhodes is an Adjunct Professor in the Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills where he teaches the International Component. Additionally, Ambassador Rhodes is a Visiting Professor at Loyola Marymount University and the University of California, Los Angeles.

As Managing Partner of Claiborne-Rhodes International, LLC, Ambassador Rhodes is a leader in socially conscious proprietary business development. With expertise in oil, gas and new energy models, Ambassador Rhodes has successfully negotiated acquisition of asset management businesses and represents minority professional services companies.


“An Interest-based Approach to Leadership”

Meaning is central to productivity in the workplace. Employers too often forget to create environments in which employees can discover and create meaning. Rediscovering essential human interests can help employees find meaning in the workplace, leading to greater commitment and work productivity. Leaders can learn to create meaningful workplaces by exploring interests to create meaning, particularly in situations involving workplace conflicts.