Dr. Guo-Brennan is currently the Director of the MPA program and an Associate Professor of public administration in the Division of Political Science at Troy University in Alabama. He has served in leadership roles in education, non-profit, and governmental organizations for over 20 years before beginning his career in academics. His work has taken him to cities throughout the United States, Canada, and China.
Michael began his career as an educator in K-12 public schools in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. From there, he transitioned into serving in non-profit organization where his leadership abilities were quickly recognized and he took on administrative responsibilities, leading and managing work teams and programs. Following completion of his academic studies towards his Ph.D., Dr. Guo-Brennan took on responsibilities as an executive in local government, serving as City Manager, first in Iowa, then in Maine.
Much of his work in government included networking with state and national leaders to promote local government initiatives. He worked closely with Councils of Governments in Iowa as well as the Maine State legislature, frequently providing testimony as well as assistance with legislation that impacted local communities.
In higher education, Dr. Guo-Brennan began his career in 2014, developing on-line courses for the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia International University. His next position was as an adjunct professor and post-doctoral fellow at the University of Prince Edward Island. This work involved an internationally based collaborative research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) with a focus on public policy issues related to civic engagement, social justice, employment inequality, cultural diversity, and immigration. The research includes collaborative relationships with researchers at four Canadian universities examining policies and programs that support newcomers, including underrepresented youth and families in schools and communities. The study involved collaborative research partnerships with 15 community-based organizations and governmental organizations at the local, provincial and federal levels. Since 2015, Michael has worked at Troy University, teaching face-to-face, on-line, and in hybrid classroom settings.
He has also continued to establish a strong research agenda. The overriding focus of his research centers around civic engagement and public policy issues including education policy, immigration, crisis management, and global competency in public administration.
Dr. Guo-Brennan has a Bachelors’ Degree in Music History from Illinois State University, a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Louisville and a Ph.D. in Urban and Public Affairs from the University of Louisville.