Al Gorriaran, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Dr. Gorriaran entered the Army as a young man immediately after high school and served for 4 and a half-years (1974-1979). Upon completion of his initial service he attended CSU Chico, earning a BA in Public Administration and was commissioned as an officer in the US Army from the UC Berkley ROTC Battalion (1982). Dr. Gorriaran then served on active duty until he retired in 2000.  Most of his assignments were leading small and medium units in human resources, training and logistics. While on active duty, Dr. Gorriaran earned an MBA and MPA from Webster University and Troy University respectively. Immediately after retirement, he was appointed to the Business and Mathematics Departments at Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he taught until 2004.  In 2004, Dr. Gorriaran entered the Foreign Service (FS) and began work on an MISM degree from Keller Graduate School of Management, where he had taught as an adjunct.


In 2004, he completed a doctorate in business administration (DBA), majoring in human resources from Nova Southeastern University.  Dr. Gorriaran then began his tenure with the Foreign Service where he served as HR and administrative officer for our embassies in Macedonia, Albania and our consulate in Nogales, Mexico. He left the FS in 2009, as the challenges of overseas life were too difficult on a family with an 80-year-old grandmother and the academic challenges of a 12-year-old boy. He then took a position with the Smithsonian Institution as a Human Resources Business Partner, guiding the institution’s international HR issues as well as operational HR functions for eleven internal client organizations.  Dr. Gorriaran became a full-time faculty member in 2010. Dr. Gorriaran is the lead MS in HRM faculty with specific responsibility for First Course. He won the Harold Able Award in 2014. 

Content Featuring Al Gorriaran, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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Virtually Not Forgotten: Effective Engagement Strategies for Remote Employees

July 14, 2015 | Shelley Robbins, Al Gorriaran

Seventy-nine percent of surveyed organizations report they have a significant retention and engagement problem. 3.2 million Americans work from home and the number of organizations offering work-from-home benefits has risen over the past several years. Full-time employees who work the majority of their time (5 days a week) in a remote location from their companies’ office face many challenges such as, social isolation, decreased engagement, and increased work-family conflict. However, little is known about the effective engagement and retention strategies for the virtual workforce.