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Koch Center for Leadership and Ethics Director Biography

Director Biography

Derek K. Yonai is the Director of the Koch Center for Leadership and Ethics and an Associate Professor of Business at Emporia State University. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics. He also serves on the Research Advisory Council of the James Madison Institute.

Previously, Dr. Yonai was the Managing Director of the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom and a Research Associate Professor in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University and the Founding Director of the Center for Free Enterprise and an Associate Professor of Economics in the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College where he was responsible for developing and supervising Florida Southern’s free enterprise education and outreach programs.

From 2003 to 2013, Dr. Yonai was the Lundy Chair of the Philosophy of Business in the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and an Adjunct Professor at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University. While at Campbell, he oversaw their free enterprise education programs and their economics program. He also taught the school of business’s signature course, Philosophy of Business, which introduces students to the morality of the free enterprise system.

Dr. Yonai has been recognized for his teaching earning the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award at Campbell University and the “Spirit of Inquiry Award” by the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

He has written for both scholarly and popular outlets. His published research discusses the economic role of property rights and the law. His recent research focuses on economists’ inability to communicate their ideas to the general public. His popular writings deal with the importance of understanding economic principles and the importance of economic freedom.

Dr. Yonai earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California at Irvine and graduated with honors from Whittier College School of Law. In addition, he earned a Master of Arts in Economics and a Ph.D. from George Mason University.