headshot photo of Michael Moodian

Michael Moodian

Attallah College of Educational Studies
The George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics


Dr. Michael A. (Mike) Moodian has served as a faculty member in various capacities for Chapman University since 2007. He teaches for Chapman’s integrated educational studies program and is an associate professor of social science at Chapman-affiliated Brandman University.

Mike’s first book, titled Contemporary Leadership and Intercultural Competence, was released by Sage Publications in 2009. This is an edited volume that examines the application of cultural comprehension to organizations and the measurement of intercultural competence. The book has been widely used in graduate and undergraduate classes around the world, and it is cited by the Association of American Colleges & Universities in establishing national learning standards.

Governor Jerry Brown appointed Mike to the State of California Commission on Judicial Performance in 2015. The commission is responsible for investigating judicial misconduct/incapacity complaints and for disciplining judges. Its jurisdiction includes all superior court judges and Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court justices. Additionally, Mike chairs the Santa Margarita Catholic High School Consultative School Board, and serves as a member and former chair of the United Nations Association of Orange County Advisory Council, a member of the UC Irvine Olive Tree Initiative Advisory Board, and an executive board member and former chairman of the World Affairs Council of Orange County.

Mike has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, and commentaries; is a Huffington Post blogger; and has been a guest op-ed contributor on social and political issues for newspapers such as the Orange County Register, San Diego Union-Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, and Los Angeles Daily News. He has presented his research at various national and international conferences and has served as an expert commentator on several television and radio programs. Based on his interest in local history, he wrote a short book on the ranch history of South Orange County and North San Diego County titled Images of America: Rancho Santa Margarita (Arcadia, 2010). Mike enjoys speaking to local K-12 and community groups on South Orange County’s indigenous American activity, the Portolá Expedition, Mexican governance of the land, and 20th century ranching activity.

Chapman University named Mike Teacher of the Year at its Irvine center in 2009, and OC Metro named him a 40 Under 40 honoree in 2010. Additionally, he was one of 18 Americans (and the only California resident) selected by the European Union to travel to Brussels in 2012 as a citizen diplomat to discuss education policy with EU officials. He organized and moderated a 2009 California gubernatorial debate (the first major political debate in U.S. history to integrate Twitter) and a 2010 U.S. Senate town hall forum, and he codirected the 2010 State of Orange County Survey.

Mike earned a doctorate degree in education from Pepperdine University, and a master’s degree in communications and bachelor’s degree in communications and sociology from California State University, Fullerton. His doctoral dissertation is titled An Analysis of Intercultural Competence Levels of Organizational Leadership Doctoral Students. He is a former U.S. military reservist and a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development and Intercultural Conflict Style inventories.

Mike’s wife, Dr. Margaret Moodian ’03, is a tutorial faculty member for adult learners; serves on the Blind Children’s Learning Center, Tias Arms, and Chapman University Alumni Association boards of directors; and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster youth. They live in Rancho Santa Margarita with their rescue dog Manny and chinchilla Marshall.