Michael Arena

Dean of the Crowell School of Business at Biola University
Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder of the Connected Commons

Michael Arena Ph.D. is the Dean of the Crowell School of Business at Biola University. He is also the chief science officer and co-founder of the Connected Commons, a research consortium that brings together business and academic thought leaders to develop and apply organizational network solutions. Arena also continues to teach in Penn’s Masters in Organizational Dynamics program. Prior to joining Biola, he served as the vice president of talent and development at Amazon Web Services (AWS), where he leveraged network analysis to enable employee growth, organizational culture and innovation. Dr. Arena was also the chief talent officer for General Motors Corporation where he helped to facilitate a business transformation, which is highlighted in his book Adaptive Space.

Arena also spent two years as a visiting scientist with MIT’s Media Lab researching human networks and acted as a design thinking coach within the Stanford dSchool for three years. In 2020, he was nominated to the Thinkers50 Radar class for his work on network roles in creating adaptive organizations. His research on adaptation and networks also won the 2017 Walker Prize from People + Strategy and has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Sloan Management Review.

Recent Research