headshot photo of Michael Moodian

Michael Moodian

Attallah College of Educational Studies


Dr. Michael A. (Mike) Moodian has served as a faculty member in various capacities at Chapman University since 2007. He codirects Wilkinson College’s Orange County Annual Survey and teaches for the leadership studies minor and master of arts in leadership development programs.

He is cofounder of the inaugural Orange County Sustainability Decathlon. This is a major competition in which 18 college teams from across the globe will design and build innovative, net-zero homes and display them at a sustainable village at the OC Fair & Event Center in October 2023. The goal for the event is to help spark Orange County and the greater Southern California region to be the world’s sustainability and clean-technology capital.

Mike released the television documentary Coastal Crisis: California’s Vanishing Beaches, which PBS aired this year in the L.A. region. The documentary—which is currently on the film festival circuit—explores the causes and effects of coastal erosion on California’s beaches. Mike is the program’s coproducer, codirector, and lead writer.

Two separate governors appointed Mike to the 11-member State of California Commission on Judicial Performance: Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him to the commission in 2015 and reappointed him in 2017, and Gov. Gavin Newsom reappointed Mike for a final four-year term in 2021. Mike’s commission colleagues voted him vice chairperson in 2020, 2021, and again this year. The commission investigates judicial misconduct and incapacity complaints and disciplines state judges.

The Orange County Register in 2021 named Mike to its 125 Most Influential People in Orange County list.

Sage Publications released Mike’s first book, Contemporary Leadership and Intercultural Competence, in 2009. This edited volume examines cultural comprehension’s application to organizations and intercultural competence measurement. The Association of American Colleges & Universities cited the book in establishing national learning standards.

Mike has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, and commentaries and has been a guest op-ed contributor for newspapers such as the Orange County Register, San Diego Union-Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, Voice of OC, and Los Angeles Daily News. He has presented his research at 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.

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. He is a former U.S. military reservist.

Mike’s wife, Dr. Margaret Moodian (’03), is a tutorial faculty member for adult learners and serves on the Journey School and Tias Arms boards of directors. They live in Rancho Mission Viejo with their young son and pets. In his free time, Mike enjoys being a taekwondo dad, coaching youth sports, and serving as a San Juan Capistrano Little League board member and division commissioner.