About Me

Professional Identity


I nurture human and organizational potential through innovation, design, and strategy. This work matters to me because I get to help people, groups, and organizations bring out their best and attain the results they seek in the world.  For the last 20 years, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work in organizations where I can provide a supportive, results-oriented approach, both as an internal leader and as a consultant.


Through my consulting practice, Githens and Associates, I help organizations to solve problems and seize opportunities through:

Through my consulting, I get to work with a wide variety of fascinating clients who are stuck, need a skilled neutral facilitator, or want to accelerate their organizations in achieving results. It’s incredibly rewarding helping organizations address a wide variety of challenges and opportunities they encounter using approaches that help them get results.

University of the Pacific

I serve as Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Innovation in the Benerd School of Education at University of the Pacific.  We have an incredible vision to be a center of true innovation and creativity for learning, leadership, and change in Northern California. I was originally hired at Pacific to lead the development of our school in Sacramento, which was frankly my dream job: an opportunity to build a set of programs from a “blank slate.”  Now, we’re building on that success in reimagining our entire school in a way that serves specific needs in our various communities.

As the Alexandra Greene Ottesen Endowed Chair, I teach leadership, change, and inquiry methods. Our students at Pacific are incredible and give me inspiration every day.

Other Professional Experiences

Prior to moving to Pacific, I served as Associate Professor in Policy, Organization, and Leadership at Drexel University in Sacramento, CA.  Before coming to California, I worked for six years in the Organizational Leadership and Learning Program at the University of Louisville. I left as an Associate Professor (with tenure) and served as Program Director for most of that time.  I taught at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels, primarily in the area of Organization Development. As Program Director, I oversaw a suite of programs (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.), which included over 550 students, 12 full-time faculty members, and 25 part-time faculty members. Our programs were offered face-to-face at sites throughout the Louisville region, fully online, and in hybrid online/face-to-face formats at the Ft. Knox Extended Campus and in Panama City, Panama.  I also oversaw the operation of our Ft. Knox Extended Campus.

While at Louisville, I also served as a researcher with the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, where I directed a national project examining online workforce development in community colleges, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Prior to joining the faculty at Louisville, I worked in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I oversaw three online programs. In that role, I directed all aspects of three online graduate programs, including course scheduling, budget management, faculty support, and administrative issues. I oversaw the offering of courses and support services, supervised a staff of 13, and coordinated with faculty who taught in the program.

I also worked for several years in the corporate sector doing HR and organizational learning work. In my last corporate position, I worked for three years as the Human Resources Manager in a large division of a Fortune 100 grocery distributor/retailer.  Prior to that, I was a learning specialist in a privately-held mid-sized company. I’ve also done adult education work, in the area of English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.


Outside of official work and school responsibilities, I’ve been involved in non-profit organizations that focus on professional, community, spiritual, and advocacy issues.

I like to think of myself as an independent thinker with eclectic views that cross predictable patterns. In these days of extreme polarization, I try to integrate my social awareness and independent mindedness into my teaching, consulting, and professional life.