Prof David Venter is an acclaimed South African academic that has during the past 30 years worked in many countries and across many cultures. He trained and thereafter practiced psychology for 15 years before venturing into management and tertiary education. During the transition from apartheid to democracy, he was the Director General of all government communication and information, for 10 years working closely with then presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. In 1988/89, he was seconded to Namibia to take charge of the voter education campaign to pave the way for the implementation of UN Resolution 435, serving together with Martti Ahtisaari to register 100% of eligible voters of which 97% cast their vote in Namibia’s first free and fair election.
After leaving the public service, he established and sold numerous negotiation training and consulting companies before moving to Belgium for 10 years to take up the position of Professor of Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Leadership at the Vlerick Business School of the universities of Leuven and Gent. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he regularly presented open and corporate specific courses in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Leadership, annually being adjudged best professor.
In 1994, he returned to South Africa to spend more time with his family, but continuing to teach negotiation, conflict dispute resolution and leadership at Peking University in China, Trinity College in Ireland, the Vlerick Business School campus in St Petersburg, MCC in Hungary and Rumania, the Business School of the University of Stellenbosch, and the Graduate School of Business of the University of Cape Town. Furthermore, he continues to be involved in training, consulting and mentoring in his fields of expertise in the corporate, governmental and NGO sectors.