Fortune Mhlanga is a proven leader with a strong track record of developing and managing organizations in the academic, private and public sectors with a specific focus on computing and technology. He joined Meharry Medical College in August 2020 as executive director of the Data Science Institute. He became the founding dean of the School of Applied Computational Sciences, the fourth school in Meharry’s proud history, after leading the transition of the DSI to the school level.
Previously, Mhlanga was the dean of the College of Computing and Technology and professor of computer science, data science and software engineering at Lipscomb University. His tenure began in August 2011 as director of the then newly-established School of Computing & Informatics. He led the school through a period of growth that resulted in its transformation into the College of Computing & Technology in 2014, offering eleven bachelor’s degrees and three master’s degrees.
Prior to his appointment at Lipscomb, Mhlanga was professor of computer science in the School of IT & Computing (SITC) from August 2007 to July 2011. He also served as director of the SITC during his last year at ACU. From 2002–2007, he served as associate professor and subsequently professor and inaugural chair of the computer science department at Faulkner University. Mhlanga was director of the Informatics and Electronics Institute at the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 1998–2002. He was a senior lecturer in the computer science department at the University of Zimbabwe from 1993 to 1994, and subsequently served as chair of the department until December 1997.
Mhlanga’s applied research and development areas include ICT capacity and utilization in developing countries; knowledge economy (and society) strategies for development; ICT in the framework of entrepreneurial and economic development; ICT policy and regulation for developing countries; and creative economy strategies for development. His pure research areas include database management systems; algorithms; query algebras; software engineering; and, modeling and simulation. He has published widely in these areas. He received the 2014 Distinguished Paper Award and the 2009 Meritorious Award from the Association of Information Technology Professionals. He has been recognized by the country of Georgia National Science Foundation for acting as an international evaluator of the projects for the “State Science Grants Competition 2009,” as the Outstanding Young Zimbabwean (Scientific and Technological Development Category) by Junior Chamber International, and by Who’s Who in executives and professionals.