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Founder & Executive Director,
Creator of M.O.S.T. Meaningful Careers Assessment, Immersive Learning Circles, and Innovation Labs

William Brendel is an Assistant Professor of Organization Development & Change for the College of Education at Penn State University.  After earning is doctorate in adult learning and leadership at Columbia University, William Brendel went on to become a scholar-practitioner in the field of Organization Development (OD), a diverse profession that uses caring and collaborative approaches to change based on behavioral science, to improve individual well-being and organizational prosperity in schools, communities, organizations, and governments. Prior to Penn State, William was an assistant professor at Texas A&M University, Temple University, and the University of St. Thomas, where he established the Project for Mindfulness & Contemplative Practice.

Combining the ancient wisdom tradition of mindfulness practice with modern neuroscience, William’s signature contribution to his field is Conscious Organization Development. This innovative approach utilizes contemplative practices to reorient consciousness in ways that reduce psychological attachments to expertise and ego, improve physiological well-being, and support organizational innovation and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts.

William Brendel was nationally recognized in 2021by the OD Network as a recipient of the “Lisa Kimball Award for Evolving the Field of OD” for his research on Conscious OD, and for educating the public on OD principles through interviews in outlets such as Variety Magazine, the Star Tribune, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, as well as through his innovative web-resource, which hosts:

  • M.O.S.T. Meaningful Careers, an assessment and customized report that helps OD graduate students and professionals identify their career calling.

  • Immersive Learning Circles, a set of scenario-based video simulations that help OD practitioners develop and infuse mindfulness practice in their craft.

  • Innovation Labs, a space for OD students, practitioners and researchers to prototype, test, and share new Conscious OD applications.

William also serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Organizations and has numerous publications in journals including the OD Review, OD Journal, Journal of Transformative Education, Journal of Management Development, and Advances in Human Resource Development. His recent co-edited book represents the History and Evolution of Organization Development through the lens of OD thought leaders from the inception of the field in 1968 through 2022.  

William has served on the OD Network Board of Trustees and is the current chair of the OD Education Association.

For updates on William's work, see:


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