Thomas Duening, PhD
Dr. Thomas Duening is the El Pomar Chair for Business & Entrepreneurship, associate professor of management, and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. He has over 25 years of experience in teaching entrepreneurship and running entrepreneurship centers. After receiving his PhD from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Duening was recruited to be the assistant dean of the business school at the University of Houston. There, he helped create the first entrepreneurship center in Texas, which has become one of the leading centers in the world. Dr. Duening went on to create centers for entrepreneurship at the University of Houston-Downtown and in the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University.
Dr. Duening also has 32 years of experience as an entrepreneur. He started his first business in 1984 and has founded or co-founded nine other ventures since then. In 1997, Duening founded U.S. Learning Systems, which provided content development and management services for e-learning companies across the United States. HighTechCampus.com, an integrated e-learning company focused on corporate compliance training acquired U.S. Learning Systems in 1999. Duening next founded the Applied Management Sciences Institute, a management consulting and research firm. He left that company in 2002 to establish ansrsource, a company that provides learning design and content development to a wide range of publishers, universities, and corporations. Ansrsource, principally based in Bangalore, India, recently celebrated its 14th year of operation. While residing in Arizona, Duening founded the Arizona Technology Investor Forum, which quickly became the most active angel investment group in the state. The Forum (now known as Arizona Tech Investors) has been operating since 2006.
Dr. Duening is well known for his advocacy of entrepreneurship as a life path, and for his research into human potential. In addition to having written 17 books on business and entrepreneurship, he also publishes widely on topics in management, organizational behavior, and positive psychology. He is the founder of the Positive Organizational Behavior Research Group, an interdisciplinary group of scholars who apply positive psychology to organizational and individual performance. Duening believes that his teaching is most relevant not when people learn particular concepts or lessons, but when they are encouraged to change the trajectory of their lives to strive for things they previously thought unreachable.
Dr. Duening holds a BS degree in natural sciences from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point; and an MA degree in philosophy of science and a PhD in higher education administration, both from the University of Minnesota.