Military Wiki
Yinka Faleti
File:Yinka Faleti Portrait.jpg
Born Adeyinka Faleti
June 20, 1976(1976-06-20) (age 45)
Lagos, Nigeria
Education U.S. Military Academy (BS)
Washington University School of Law (JD)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ronke Faleti
Children 4
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1998 – 2004
Rank Captain
Battles/wars Operation Desert Spring
Operation Enduring Freedom

Adeyinka Akanbi Faleti (born June 20, 1976)[1] is a Nigerian-American candidate for Missouri Secretary of State and United States Army veteran. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and with a JD from Washington University School of Law.[2][3][4]

He has previously worked as the Executive Director of nonprofit Forward Through Ferguson, Senior Vice President at the United Way of Greater St. Louis, state prosecutor at the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office, and a litigation attorney at international law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.[2][5][6]

Faleti lives with his wife, Ronke, and their four children in St. Louis, Missouri.[4]

Early life and education[]

Faleti was born in Lagos, Nigeria. In the mid-1970s, his father immigrated to the United States and moved to New York City. His mother left three years after and left Faleti with his grandparents until he was able to get a Visa. 7 years after his father's move, Faleti arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York and met his dad and two younger siblings for the first time.[3] Growing up, his family lived in New York, Virginia, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas.[7]

Faleti graduated from Texas Academy of Mathematics and Sciences with a high school diploma.[8] He went on to study human factors engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 1998.[9] In 2007, he earned his JD from Washington University School of Law.[10]

Life and career[]

Military service (1998-2004)[]

After graduating from West Point, Faleti served in the U.S. Army for six years as an active-duty officer from 1998 to 2004. He served two tours in Kuwait: the first tour was as a part of Operation Desert Spring and his second tour was as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom.[11] He was also a tank platoon leader in Fort Hood and trained with 15 soldiers in M1A2 tanks.[10]

At the time of his departure from the military, he had reached the ranks of Captain and Company commander.[10]

Law school (2004-2007)[]

In 2004, Faleti left the military and moved to St. Louis to begin law school at Washington University School of Law.[9] While pursuing his law degree, he was the president of the WashU Law Black Law Students Association. He also competed in the Trial Advocacy Team, earned Best Advocate in 2005, and served as team captain on the 2006 finalist team.[10]

Law career (2007-2013)[]

Upon graduating law school in 2007, Faleti worked as a litigation attorney at the St. Louis location of international law firm Bryan Cave (now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner).[8] In 2011, he became a state prosecutor in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office and served for nearly three years.[3][10][12]

Nonprofit executive (2013-2019)[]

In 2013, Faleti began serving as Senior Vice President of Philanthropic, Donor, and Community Services at the United Way of Greater St. Louis.[13] In his tenure at United Way, he directed fundraising and volunteer efforts and raised more than $300 million for St. Louis.[3][5][9][12]

In 2018, he became the Executive Director of Forward Through Ferguson, a St. Louis-region nonprofit formed to implement changes proposed by the Ferguson Commission Report.[14] After Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon appointed a coalition of regional leaders to form the Ferguson Commission. The Commission was to complete a “thorough, wide-ranging and unflinching study of the social and economic conditions that impede progress, equality and safety in the St. Louis region,” which culminated in the Ferguson Commission Report's release in 2015.[15]

Faleti was awarded the Immigrant Working Professional Award in the St. Louis Mosaic Project's 2018 Mosaic Workplace Awards for his work at Forward Through Ferguson.[16]

Missouri Secretary of State candidate (2019-present)[]

In October 2019, Faleti announced that he was running for Missouri Secretary of State in 2020 against the Republican incumbent Jay Ashcroft. The Missouri Democratic Party announced him as their nominee in April 2020.[2] He stated that he is running for office "to increase opportunities to vote, reduce barriers to voter participation and protect and honor our ballot initiative process."[17] If elected, he would be the first African-American person to hold statewide office in Missouri.[4][9]

Faleti garnered significant statewide media attention when he fundraised more than 7 times the amount of his opponent, Republican incumbent Jay Ashcroft, in the second quarter of 2020.[18][19] Aside from the election for governor, Faleti in this time period raised more than any candidate running for statewide office in Missouri.[20] Faleti's endorsements thus far include Let America Vote, St. Louis Post Dispatch, St. Louis American, Vote Vets, Missouri AFL-CIO and St. Louis Labor Council, End Citizens United, Access MO, Collective PAC, Indivisible St. Louis, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Missouri.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28]


  1. "Yinka Faleti For Missouri" (in en). 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Democratic veteran running to oversee Missouri elections". 2020-04-09. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Keller, Katlyn (September 9, 2016). "Diverse Business Leaders 2016: Yinka Faleti, senior vice president at the United Way of Greater St. Louis". St. Louis Business Journal. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 King, Chris (April 11, 2020). "Yinka Faleti is only Democrat to file to run against Ashcroft for secretary of state" (in en). 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Schallhorn, Kaitlyn (2019-10-09). "Yinka Faleti, former United Way VP, launches campaign for secretary of state" (in en). 
  6. "Meet the Young Leaders: Yinka Faleti" (in en). 
  7. "Yinka's Story". 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Yinka Faleti joins United Way" (in en). 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Kim, Jacob (October 7, 2019). "Former Forward Through Ferguson official eyes statewide run". St. Louis Business Journal. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 "Washington University in St. Louis Magazine". 
  11. "Yinka Faleti". 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Hancock, Jason (October 11, 2019). "St. Louis Democrat enters race to challenge Missouri Secretary of State Ashcroft". 
  13. "Fundraising for Impact Summit". 
  14. "Forward Through Ferguson" (in en-US). 
  15. "The Commission" (in en-US). 
  16. "The St. Louis Mosaic Project Celebrates Workplace Leaders for Immigrants in St. Louis Community". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. October 19, 2016. 
  17. Staff, DemCast (2020-03-07). "Meet the Candidate: Yinka Faleti (Missouri)" (in en-US). 
  18. Erickson, Kurt. "Parson leads in race for campaign cash, but Galloway touts fundraising haul in pandemic" (in en). 
  19. Kelly, Matthew (July 16, 2020). "Sec. of State Ashcroft outraised 7-to-1 by Democratic challenger Faleti last quarter". Kansas City Star. 
  20. Geisler, Lucas (2020-07-16). "Campaign finance: Galloway raises more than Parson, county commission challengers bring in thousands" (in en-US). 
  21. "Yinka Faleti for secretary of state, Nicole Galloway for governor" (in en). 
  22. "Thank you @votevets for your endorsement! I am proud to be a U.S. Army veteran and will bring courageous leadership to Jefferson City as Missouri's next Secretary of State. #VoteVetsEL" (in en). 
  23. "I am grateful for our campaign's endorsement from @accessmotoday" (in en). 
  24. "Indivisible St. Louis" (in en). 
  25. "2020 Endorsements" (in en). 
  26. Alpert, Lynn. "Missouri Labor-endorsed candidates for local and statewide offices in Aug. 4 primary | The Labor Tribune" (in en-US). 
  27. "ICYMI: Yesterday, we received the endorsement of @letamericavote and @StopBigMoney, two organizations focused on an open, accessible, and transparent government." (in en). 
  28. St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board (September 28, 2020). "Editorial: We recommend Yinka Faleti for Missouri secretary of state" (in en). 

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