Headshot of Chris Reina

Chris Reina

Associate Professor
Founding & Executive Director, Institute for Transformative Leadership
Faculty Director, MBA Programs

Area: Management and Entrepreneurship

  • Snead Hall
  • 301 W. Main Street
  • Box 844000
  • Richmond, VA, 23284-4000
  • Office: B4153


  • PhD, Arizona State University, 2015.


  • Leadership & Mindfulness
  • Caring & Compassion
  • Diversity & Inclusion


  • Transformative and people-centered leadership; Mindfulness; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Transformative leadership; Mindfulness; Affect and Emotions; Well-being, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Christopher S. Reina is the Founding and Executive Director of the Institute for Transformative Leadership and an Associate Professor in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Chris holds the position of Provost Leadership Fellow within the Office of the Provost and is also the Faculty Director of MBA Programs.

His research focuses on the intersection of leadership, mindfulness, and emotions in the workplace and how leaders can facilitate employee well-being and organizational performance.

Chris is especially interested in understanding the impact of leadership on followers and how this translates to customer/patient outcomes. Christopher received his Ph.D. in Business Administration (Management) from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and has corporate experience in leadership training and development as well as sales and marketing in the healthcare industry.

He is the Founder of Leading Without Ego, LLC where he is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and coach specializing in transformative and mindful leadership where he works with organizations to create spaces and places of belonging where everyone feels valued.

Licensures and Certifications

  • Recruiting Inclusive Champions (RIC) Certificate 2022, VCU Office of the Provost. (December, 2022-Present).

Professional Memberships

  • Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. (2017 - Present).
  • Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. (2012 - Present).
  • Academy of Management. (2011 - Present).
  • Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society. (2007 - Present).

Awards and Honors

  • National and International Recognition Awards (NIRA) 2024 Recipient. (February, 2024).
  • Award of Excellence (best overall research, teacher, and service), VCU School of Business. (March, 2021).
  • Distinguished Research Award, VCU School of Business. (March, 2020).
  • Distinguished Teacher Award, VCU School of Business. (February, 2019).


Teaching Experience
  • LEADERSHIP, 1 course.
  • Leading People and Organizations, 1 course.


Published Intellectual Contributions
Book Chapter
  • Gupta, A., Reina, C. S. (2022). Mindful Teams and Leadership. In Delivering Passionate Care: A Mindfulness Curriculum for Interdisciplinary Health Professionals. Springer Publishing Company. DOI: doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-91062-4
  • Gupta, A., Reina, C. S. (2022). Leading through Crisis: The Role of Mindfulness. In Leadership after COVID-19: Working Together Toward a Sustainable Future (pp.269-285). Springer Publishing Company. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84867-5
  • Reina, C. S. (2020). A multidimensional conceptualization of mindfulness at work: Development and initial validation of the work mindfulness scale. In Routledge Companion to Mindfulness at Work.
  • Reina, C. S. (2017). Mindfulness: A Tool for Thoughtful Politics. In Fitzduff M. (Ed.), Why Irrational Politics Appeals. Praeger.
  • Reina, C. S., Peterson, S. J., Waldman, D. A. (2016). Neuroscience as a Basis for Understanding Emotions and Affect in Organizations. In Organizational Neuroscience (1 ed., pp.213-232). Bingley, BD16 1W: Emerald Group.
  • Peterson, S. J., Reina, C. S., Waldman, D. A., Becker, W. J. (2015). Using Physiological Methods to Study Emotions in Organizations. In Research on Emotion in Organizations: New Ways of Studying Emotions in Organizations (vol. 11, pp.3-27). Bingley, BD16 1W: Emerald Group.
Conference Proceeding
Journal Article
  • Town, S., Reina, C. S., Brummans, B., Pirson, M. (in press). Creating Humanistic Organizations. Academy of Management Insights.
  • Town, S., Reina, C. S., Brummans, B., Pirson, M. (2024). Humanistic organizing: The transformative force of mindful organizational communication. Academy of Management Review. DOI: https://journals.aom.org/doi/10.5465/amr.2021.0433
  • Reina, C. S., Mills, M., Sumpter, D. (2023). A Mindful Relating Framework for Understanding the Trajectory of Work Relationships. (vol. 76, pp.1187-1215). Personnel Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/peps.12530
  • Reina, C. S., Kreiner, G., Rheinhardt, A., Mihelcic, C. (2023). Your Presence Is Requested: Mindfulness Infusion in Workplace Interactions and Relationships. (vol. 34, pp.722-753). Organization Science. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2022.1596
  • Mills, M., Reina, C. S., Sumpter, D. (2023). Bringing our Humanness to the Workplace: Fostering Reflection and Reflexivity via Mindful Relating. (vol. 16, pp.105-107). Industrial and Organizational Psychology. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/iop.2022.104
  • Gupta, A., Reina, C. S. (2023). It’s the Little Things in Life: An Examination of Hassles, Mindfulness, and Counterproductive Behaviors. Group and Organization Management. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/10596011231161817
  • Serban, A., Rubenstein, A., Bosco, F. A., Reina, C. S., Grubb, L. (2022). Stressors and Social Resources at Work: The Buffering Effects of LMX, POS, and their Interaction on Employee Attitudes. (vol. 37, pp.717–734). Journal of Business and Psychology. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-021-09774-z
  • Dust, S., Liu, H., Wang, S., Reina, C. S. (2022). The Effect of Mindfulness and Job Demands on Motivation and Performance Trajectories Across the Workweek: An Entrainment Theory Perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology.
  • Smith, T., Boulamatsi, A., Dimotakis, N., Tepper, B., Reina, C. S., Lucianetti, L. (2022). "How dare you?!”: A self-verification perspective on how performance influences the effects of abusive supervision on job embeddedness and subsequent turnover. (3 ed., vol. 75, pp.645-674). Personnel Psychology. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/peps.12494
  • Kudesia, R., Pandey, A., Reina, C. S. (2022). Doing more with less: Interactive effects of cognitive resources and mindfulness training in coping with mental fatigue from multitasking. (2 ed., vol. 48, pp.410-439). Journal of Management. DOI: 10.1177/0149206320964570
  • McKay, A., Mohan, M., Reina, C. S. (2021). Another day, another chance: Daily workplace experiences and their impact on creativity. (3 ed., vol. 39, pp.292-311). Journal of Product Innovation Management. DOI: 10.1111/jpim.12573
  • Gottfredson, R., Reina, C. S. (2020). Uncovering an overlooked element of leadership development: The foundational role of mindsets. Business Horizons.
  • Gottfredson, R., Reina, C. S. (2020). To Be a Great Leader, You Need the Right Mindset. Harvard Business Review.
  • Rosen, C., Dimotakis, N., Cole, M., Taylor, S., Simon, L., Smith, T., Reina, C. S. (2020). When challenges hinder: An investigation of when and how challenge stressors impact performance outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology.
  • Reina, C. S., Kudesia, R. (2020). Wherever You Go, There You Become: How Mindfulness Arises in Everyday Situations. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
  • Gottfredson, R., Reina, C. S. (2020). Exploring why leaders do what they do: An integrative review of the situation-trait approach and situation-encoding schemas. The Leadership Quarterly.
  • Gellock, J. L., Ekolm, E., Greenhalgh, G. P., LeCrom, C. W., Reina, C. S., Kudesia, R. (2019). Player’s perceptions of teammate leadership: Examining athlete leadership behaviors, attributes, and interactions . (2 ed., vol. 1). Journal of Athlete Development and Experience .
  • Kudesia, R., Reina, C. S. (2019). Does interacting with trusted others increase mindfulness? An experience sampling study of everyday social interactions. PLOS ONE.
  • Bartels, A., Peterson, S., Reina, C. S. (2019). Understanding Well-Being at Work: Development and Validation of the Eudaimonic Workplace Well-Being Scale. PLOS ONE.
  • Saitgalina, M., Bennett, A., Reina, C. S., Coombs, J. E. (2018). Serving Others at the Expense of Self: The Relationship Between Relative CEO Compensation and Nonprofit Performance. (vol. 4, pp.156-180). Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs.
  • Cosans, C., Reina, C. S. (2017). The Leadership Ethics of Machiavelli’s Prince. Business Ethics Quarterly. DOI: doi.org/10.1017/beq.2017.13
  • Reina, C. S., Rogers, K., Peterson, S. J., Byron, K., Hom, P. (2017). Quitting the Boss? The Role of Manager Influence Tactics and Employee Emotional Engagement in Voluntary Turnover. (1 ed., vol. 25, pp.5-18). Journal of Leadership and Organization Studies. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1548051817709007
  • Reina, C. S., Peterson, S. J., Zhang, Z. (2017). Adverse Effects of CEO Family-to-Work Conflict on Firm Performance. (2 ed., vol. 28, pp.228-243). Organization Science. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2017.1114
  • Reina, C. S., Zhang, Z., Peterson, S. J. (2014). CEO grandiose narcissism and firm performance: The role of organizational identification. (5 ed., vol. 25, pp.958-971). The Leadership Quarterly. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2014.06.004
  • Riggio, R. E., Zhu, W. W., Reina, C. S., Maroosis, J. A. (2010). Virtue-based measurement of ethical leadership: The Leadership Virtues Questionnaire. . (4 ed., vol. 62, pp.235). Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0022286
Presentations Given
  • Bartels, A. (Author & Presenter), Smith, T. (Author), W. W. (Author), Reina, C. S. (Author), Academy of Management, Envy: How variability in leader-member exchange relationships impacts group and individual processes. Seattle, WA. (August, 2022).
  • Reina, C. S. (Discussant), Academy of Management, Organizational Behavior Research Roundtables 2022 Seattle, WA. (August, 2022).
  • Gupta, A. (Author & Presenter), Reina, C. S. (Author), Academy of Management, Why Mindful Physicians Have More Satisfied Patients: An Emotional-Labor Account Seattle, WA. (August, 2022).
  • Reina, C. S. (Discussant), AoM OB Division’s Off-Session PDW: Burnout and Work-Life Balance: , Exploring Individual Perspectives and approaches to living a healthy academic life Online. (June, 2022).
  • Gupta, A. (Author & Presenter), Reina, C. S. (Author), Conference for Positive Organizational Scholarship, Leader Feedback Orientation as a Predictor of Follower Responsiveness to Feedback Ann Arbor, MI. (June, 2022).
  • Reina, C. S. (Panelist), Fritz, C. (Panelist), Glomb, T. (Panelist), Randall, J. (Coordinator/Organizer), Zajac, S. (Coordinator/Organizer), Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Mindfulness at Work: Challenges and Opportunities Chicago, IL. (April, 2018).
  • Reina, C. S., International Association of Management, Spirituality, and Religion Annual Conference, Meditation and Mindfulness in Teaching Leadership Fayeville, AR. (2017).
  • Ahvlik, C. (Author), Lyddy, C. (Author), Reina, C. S. (Author), Mindfulness Training to Enhance Leaders’ Interpersonal Relationships: A Randomized Field Study. , Academy of Management, Atlanta, GA. (2017).
  • Mills, M., Reina, C. S., Academy of Management, New Perspectives on the Intersection of Employee Affect and Social Interactions. Atlanta, GA. (2017).
  • Reina, C. S., International Association of Management, Spirituality, and Religion Annual Conference , Using Mindfulness and Meditation to Open Minds and Hearts: An Experiential Personal Development Workshop Fayetville, AR. (2017).
  • Reina, C. S. (Author), Keener, S. (Author & Presenter), Bartels, A. (Author), Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2016, Understanding the Relationship Between Leader Mindfulness and Effectiveness: The Dual Roles of Self and Other Awareness Anaheim, CA. (August, 2016).
  • Coombs, J. E. (Author & Presenter), Davis, B. C. (Author & Presenter), Reina, C. S. (Author), Webb, J. W. (Author), Christopher, P. G. (Author), Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, The mindful funder: The role of mindfulness, empathy, and perception in predicting crowdfunding, Babson College, Bodo, Norway. (June, 2016).
  • Reina, C. S. (Author & Presenter), Peterson, S. J. (Author), Kinicki, A. (Author), Zhang, Z. (Author), Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2015, Adapting Leader Behaviors to Achieve Follower Effectiveness: A Mindful Approach to Situational Leadership Vancouver, Canada. (August 11, 2015).
Media Contributions
  • NBC29.VCU Study Shows Management Style Impact on Workers. http://www.nbc29.com/story/35593313/vcu-study-shows-management-style-impact-on-workers. (June, 2017).
  • NPR - With Good Reason.https://www.withgoodreasonradio.org/episode/dragons-and-creatives/?t=1033&autoplay=1#s1033

    Prioritizing relationships creates better results in the workplace. This belief is at the center of his work at the Institute for Transformative Leadership.. (October, 2023).
  • With Good Reason NPR Interview.Mindful Managers. http://www.withgoodreasonradio.org/episode/the-golden-age-of-flattery/?t=00:12:47. (March, 2018).
  • BYU Radio.When Your Boss is a Narcissist. http://www.byuradio.org/episode/a9b59a12-a81a-4bf4-bdd7-8dcab1c6aa73?playhead=1213&autoplay=true. (October, 2017).
  • Newspaper
    • Richmond Times Dispatch.Interview for article "Remote work. Hybrid jobs. Telework. What will the workforce look like in the future?"

      https://richmond.com/business/remote-work-hybrid-jobs-telework-what-will-the-workforce-look-like-in-the-future/article_9c29f5df-730f-5134-b608-453cfcc1a189.html. (April, 2022).
  • The Commonwealth Times.https://commonwealthtimes.org/2021/02/10/five-ways-to-achieve-mindfulness-from-vcu-and-university-of-richmond-experts. (February, 2021).
  • Richmond Times Dispatch.Interviewed for article "Balancing work with, well, the rest of life" http://bit.ly/1Qmli3R. (September 8, 2015).
  • Internet
    • Podcast: A Transformative Partnership for Teaching Leadership in Business Education.https://www.barrywehmiller.com/post/podcast/2024/03/07/podcast--a-transformative-partnership-for-teaching-leadership-in-business-education. (March 8, 2024).
  • The Joy of Inclusion: Chris Reina’s Journey from Childhood Imagination to Transformative Leadership.https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-75-the-joy-of-inclusion-chris-reinas/id1561078547?i=1000646241167. (February 21, 2024).
  • VCU News.https://news.vcu.edu/article/2024/01/vcu-research-promotes-a-business-paradigm-shift-that-emphasizes-people-not-just-profit. (January 18, 2024).
  • Fast Company.Trustworthy leaders say what they mean and mean what they say, says Christopher S. Reina, Ph.D., associate professor in the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Management and Entrepreneurship.

    “They don’t say things like ‘we should get lunch and catch up’ and not follow through with this,” he says. “They are careful with their words because they know words matter. When they say they will follow up with you, they do so. In doing this, they continually reinforce a cycle of making and fulfilling promises, however small they may be. Over time, this contributes to trust.”

    https://www.fastcompany.com/90851145/trusted-leader-do-these-things. (February 24, 2023).
  • Bloomberg.Interviewed for article "Master Your Work To-Do List, Finally"

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2022-10-11/3-easy-ways-to-boost-your-productivity-at-work?srnd=work-shift. (October, 2022).
  • https://news.vcu.edu/article/2022/05/making-sure-workers-have-a-good-day-gives-companies-a-competitive-advantage.Making sure workers have a ‘good’ day gives companies a competitive advantage. (May, 2022).
  • VCU News.How to Survive the Open Office https://www.news.vcu.edu/article/How_to_survive_the_open_office. (October 8, 2018).
  • VCU News.Nonprofit CEOs who opt for lower pay lead more effective organizations, VCU research shows https://news.vcu.edu/article/Nonprofit_CEOs_who_opt_for_lower_pay_lead_more_effective_organizations. (September, 2018).
  • News.vcu.edu..Reina has contributed to the 2017 book "Why Irrational Politics Appeals: Understanding the Allure of Trump." The book contains experts discussing the psychological, economic and sociological factors that led to Trump’s election. https://news.vcu.edu/article/Faculty_and_Staff_Features_for_June_2017#Reina. (June, 2017).
  • Huffington Post.First author on article: "Mindful Leadership In a World of Distractions". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jill-s-goldsmith-jd-lac-ncc/mindful-leadership-in-a-w_b_10225152.html. (June 1, 2016).
  • Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research
    • Andiola, L. M. (Principal), Alberti, C. (Co-Principal), Earley, C. (Co-Principal), Reina, C. S., “Come Together”: An Examination of Factors Influencing Audit Team Functioning in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond, Sponsored by Center for Audit Quality/American Accounting Association Private. (August, 2022 - August, 2023).


    • Committee Chair, PhD student Comprehensive Exam Faculty Coordinator. (March, 2022 - Present).
    • Committee Member, Management Doctoral Student Advisory Committee. (August, 2020 - Present).
    • Committee Member, School of Business Diversity Committee. (2022 - Present).
    • Committee Member, Faculty Council Representative. (2021 - Present).
    • Committee Member, Executive MBA Advisory Committee. (August, 2018 - Present).
    • Committee Member, MBA Advisory Committee. (January, 2017 - Present).
    • Committee Member, Online MBA Advisory Committee. (January, 2017 - Present).
    • Founding and Executive Director, Institute for Transformative Leadership. (December, 2022 - Present).
    • Provost Leadership Fellow. (June, 2022 - Present).
    Community Engagement - Service
    • Second Presbyterian Church: Ruling Elder, Personnel Committee Member. (August, 2019 - Present).
    • Virginia Repertory Theatre: Board Member, Chair of Governance Committee, Chair of Founders' Committee, Chair of Leader Support Committee, Executive Committee Member. (August, 2019 - Present).
    • Presbyterian University Church (UKirk) Advisory Board Member. (August, 2017 - Present).
    • Faculty Advisor and Mindfulness Teacher for The Inner Work Center (formally Chrysalis). (August, 2016 - Present).
      Lead mindfulness trainings and research initiatives (local Richmond non-profit).
    • HEROES For Students. (August 1, 2015 - Present).
      Co-Founder and Executive Committee Board Member.
    • Massey Alliance Board Member. (August, 2017 - 2019).