Dean Anderson was born in Logan, Utah, to Desmond and Loila (Funk) Anderson. He was raised in Southern California and graduated from John Muir High School in Pasadena, where he was student body president. He attended Stanford University on a scholarship during his freshman year. After serving a two-year mission to Hamburg, Germany, he transferred to Utah State University, graduating magna cum laude in 1973 with a dual major in economics and political science. While at USU he was editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, Student Life (predecessor of The Statesman). He received the Robins Award in 1973 for Achievement of the Year for his work on Student Life. In the fall of that year he served as campaign manager for his father’s successful campaign for mayor of Logan. He completed work on a master’s in economics at USU and then moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to begin doctoral studies in political economy and government. His MPA from the Kennedy School of Government was awarded in 1976 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University was granted in 1979. While in graduate school he taught the first-year Principles of Economics course to Harvard undergraduates, an experience that he credits with shaping his life-long interest in teaching and academics.
In 1978 Professor Anderson became a member of the faculty at the Harvard Business School (HBS), where he taught courses in Competition and Strategy, Production and Operations Management, Business, Government and the International Economy in the MBA and executive programs of the school. He was a member of the HBS faculty for 10 years. While at Harvard he authored a book, Regulatory Politics and Electric Utilities, articles, and numerous business case studies, including several based on field research in Germany, Japan, and Korea.
From 1981 through 1983, Dr. Anderson interrupted his academic career. He served first in Washington as deputy counselor to the secretary of the treasury, where he provided support for the Cabinet Council on Economic Affairs and the National Productivity Advisory Committee. From 1982 to 1983, he served as corporate director for special projects for Bendix Corporation in Southfield, Michigan. He was responsible for a number of global strategic projects and was named executive secretary of the Allied-Bendix Merger Management Task Force.
In 1987 Dr. Anderson co-founded the Center for Executive Development (CED) with three Harvard colleagues. CED is a Boston-based management consulting and executive development firm. In 1995 the International University Consortium for Executive Education (UNICON) cited CED as “the leading firm in the development and delivery of top-level executive education/leadership development programs.” As CED’s founder and managing partner, Dr. Anderson has designed and delivered customized seminars and strategic workshops for dozens of companies and thousands of managers. His skills as an educator of senior executives in the areas of strategy, leadership, and change have been widely praised and sought after in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Prior to becoming dean of the College of Business, which officially began on July 1, 2006, Dr. Anderson served his alma mater as a member and vice chair of the board of trustees and as a board member of the USU Research Foundation. He has lived in Salt Lake City since 1989. He and his wife, Katherine Wirthlin Cannon are the parents of seven children.