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Dr. Ryan Giffen

Ryan Giffen, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management in the Family and Consumer Sciences program at Long Beach State University.  With over 20 years’ experience in human resources, hospitality, and academic roles, Dr. Giffen’s career began in hospitality, leading operations and human resource departments for Fortune 500 companies, including Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and Marriott Hotels Worldwide, as well as serving as the head of human resources for over 700 employees at Market Broiler Restaurants. Dr. Giffen then found his passion for teaching and consulting, which led him to achieve a Ph.D. from Iowa State University in Hospitality Management with a research emphasis on human resources. This pursuit led him to the role of culture and human resource speaker, where he was asked to speak at organizations including the Orange County Hotel and Lodging Association, Collins College of Hospitality Management, the International Education Corporation, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, and several others.

In addition to Dr. Giffen’s duty’s at The Beach, he consults with hospitality organizations in both culture and human resource strategy, is the host of The MOD Report podcast, serves as a redistricting commissioner for the City of Long Beach, and is a PADI Divemaster. He and his husband, Giovanni live in Long Beach with their two fur babies, Lucy and Benni. 


  • PhD in Hospitality Management, Iowa State University
  • MA in Organizational Leadership, Biola University
  • BA in Social Science, Biola University

Research Interests

  • Personality type alignment with the job role and engagement
  • Hospitality and institutional foodservice human resources management
  • Hotel/Restaurant operations
  • Organizational development and strategy
  • Person-organization fit
  • Abusive supervision in hospitality


Schoffstall, D. G., Stokes-Alves, J. D., Monteiro, A., Giffen, R.  (2017, October).  Creating a gender-neutral environment in the hospitality industry through growth and understanding.  Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Cases, 6(2), 41-52.

Courses Taught

  • HM 371: Human Resources in Hospitality Management
  • HM 372: Hotel & Lodging Management
  • HM 376: Hospitality Marketing and Service Management
  • HM 471: Hotel & Lodging Property Management
  • HM 479: Leadership & Strategic Management in Hospitality
  • HM 497: Directed Studies