Adrian Popa photo

Adrian Popa


Dr. Adrian B. Popa is an Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Organizational Leadership. His degrees are in Psychology (B.A., University of California at Irvine), Social Work (M.S.W., California State University of Long Beach), Public Administration (M.P.A., University of Utah), and Doctor of Philosophy (University of Utah). Dr. Popa worked as a clinician in the hospital setting working with patients, families, and medical family centered care initiatives. His clinical career led to research with federal and state program development and outcome evaluation, along with community grassroots leadership development at University of Utah. Love for teaching, research, and leadership education progressively led Dr. Popa to Gonzaga University. His scholarship of teaching and research focus on the impact of leadership practices on organizational and human performance. Additionally, Dr. Popa continues to study, investigate, teach and present on the role of psychological hardiness or resilience in post-conflict societies, human, and organizational flourishing. Dr. Popa embraces Ignatian pedagogy in the Jesuit tradition and has taught experiential courses in partnership with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). He currently teaches experiential immersion courses on global leadership in Brussels, Belgium and leadership hardiness on Mt. Adams, WA. At the interest of graduate leadership students, Dr. Popa has organized and executed seven memorable expeditions that bridge theory with practice and action. Dr. Popa has presented at numerous international conferences and has consulted on personal and organizational resilience with Chamber of Commerce in Coeur d’Alene, WA State Fire Chiefs Association, Dorian Studios, and other regional organizations. He has been on the Board for the Alliance of Universities for Democracy, which linked U.S. and Eurasian universities, since 2001. He served as co-Editor of AUDEM: The International Journal of Higher Education and Democracy, a scholarly journal of the Alliance of Universities for Democracy. He currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Leadership Education (JOLE) and on the Board of Peak7 Adventures, a local non-profit organization that introduces at-risk youth to the outdoors. Dr. Popa was born and raised in Romania, where he continues to visit, serve, and partner with colleagues on scholarship and other initiatives. In his spare time, Dr. Popa enjoys traveling, mountaineering, sea kayaking, and camping – but most of all – spending time with his precious family.