Main Content Region

Elizabeth Castillo

Elizabeth Castillo

, Assistant Professor


UEC - Miscellaneous Projects & Grants
Office Phone(909) 537-4489
Office LocationJB-436
Assistant Professor
Office Phone(909) 537-4489
Office LocationJB-436


How can we create a sustainable economy that works for everyone? Elizabeth researches and teaches sustainable management and social accounting to help organizations and communities create inclusive prosperity. Her interdisciplinary research uses principles from ecology, evolutionary science, and complex adaptive systems (e.g., mutualism, multilevel selection, self-organization) to integrate sustainability and complexity science into management and leadership theories and practice, with the goal of increasing cooperation, well-being, inclusion, and equitable prosperity. Dr. Castillo's scholarship is informed by two decades of management experience at the San Diego Natural History Museum and Balboa Park Cultural Partnership.

She received the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Worth Teaching award in 2020 for curricular innovation that transforms business education. Her hobbies are hiking and nature photography 

ADMN 1002 – Leadership for Global Challenges: Citizenship in a Sustainable World


  • President, International Humanistic Management Association US chapter (2023-present)
  • United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative (2018-present)
  • US Integrated Reporting Community (2019-present)

Research and Teaching Interests

Sustainable management, prosocial business models, capabilities, cooperative surplus, dynamic efficiency, ESG, generativity, humanistic management, intangible assets, nonprofit organizations, open-endedness, reciprocity, resources, SDGs, social accounting, value(s)


Castillo's research is published in peer reviewed management journals such as Leadership Quarterly, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Journal of Organizational Change Management, and Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility. Recent publications include:

  • Castillo, E.A. (2024). Sector theorists should borrow epistemologies. In E. Witesman & C. Child (Eds.) Reimagining nonprofits: Sector theory in the twenty-first century (pp. 215-230). Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/9781009262057.013
  • Jones, J.A., Castillo, E.A., Schneider, M., & Carter Kahl, S. (2023). An executive search gone awry: Biased hiring practices in a small organization. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, 13(3), 52-61. DOI:
  • Trinh, M.P., Kirsch, R., Castillo, E.A., & Bates, D. (2022). Forging paths to interdisciplinary research for early career academics. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 21(2), 318-335.
  • Castillo, E.A. (2021). Capitalism as a continuum: A bioinspired narrative framework to assess four functions of the firm. In M. Pirson, D.M. Wasieleski, E.L. Steckler (Eds.), Alternative Theories of the Firm (pp. 343-364), Humanistic Management Series. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Trinh, M.P. & Castillo, E.A. (2020). Practical wisdom as an adaptive algorithm for leadership: Integrating Eastern and Western perspectives to navigate complexity and uncertainty. Business Ethics: A European Review, 29(S1), 45-64. 
  • Castillo, E.A. & Trinh, M.P. (2019). Catalyzing capacity: Absorptive, adaptive, and generative leadership. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 32(3), 356-376.
  • Castillo, E.A. (2018). Qualities before quantities: A framework to guide dynamic assessment of the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit Policy Forum, 9(3), article 5. doi:10.1515/npf-2018-000
  • Castillo, E.  A. & Trinh, M.P.  (2018). In search of missing time: A review of temporal effects in leadership studies. The Leadership Quarterly, Yearly Review issue 29(1), 165-178. 

Decision Support Tools

  • Praharaj, S., Roseland, M., Vanos, J., Castillo, E., & Kresta, D., and Brown, T. (2022). Tree data inventory exploration tool. A publicly accessible green infrastructure enhancement digital platform in Arizona. The tool uses advanced analytics to extract and visualize critical tree attributes for individual plants, such as canopy size, desert native vs. invasive species, water usage, BVOC emission, powerline friendliness, and the allergenic nature of species.
  • Roseland, M., Castillo, E.A., Pinto, N., & Gall, M. Community Capitals Sustainability Dashboard for Maryvale (2020). Pilot digital dashboard to improve policymaking by promoting more equitable resource investments. Localizes the SDGs through six forms of capital (human, natural, physical, economic, cultural, social).

Google Scholar‬


Media Appearances & Press Coverage of Research

Guy, S. (2023 Fall). “Tech stewards expand the scope of responsible engineering”. SWE (Magazine of the Society of Women Engineers). In “Private sector takes on environmental justice training” section describing Project Confluence environmental justice training project collaboration.

Aspen Institute Business and Society Program (2021 Sept. 2). Placing worker contributions at the heart of business accounting.

Simon, T. (2021 June 25). Labor shortage affects employer treatment [Televised news broadcast]. Arizona PBS.

Waltz, A. (2021 June 14). Priorities shift for workers post-pandemic [Televised news broadcast]. ABC15 News Phoenix.

Resnik, B. (2021 April 6). Arizona executives pressure GOP to drop 'alarming' elections bills [Televised news broadcast]. NBC 12 News Phoenix.

ASU Now (2020 Oct. 20). ASU organizational leadership course and professor earn prominent Aspen Institute award.

Network for Business Sustainability (2020 Mar. 20). 2020 Sustainability priorities: NBS members share. 

Brodie, M. (2019 Nov. 29). “Woke-washing” is the latest trend for companies appealing to the socially conscious consumer. KJZZ radio interview. Rebroadcast 12/31/20 as a top-five story for 2020.

Bosch, G. (2019 Aug. 16). ‘Social accounting’ offers more transparency, greater investor confidence. Chamber Business News. Retrieved from

Conscious Capitalism San Diego (2019 June 21). “New business tool demonstrates responsibility toward society.” Web log.

Terrell, M. (2019 June 11). “New business tool demonstrates responsibility toward society.” ASU Now. Retrieved from



Ph.D. in Leadership Studies, University of San Diego (2016)

M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership, University of San Diego (2010)

B.A. in History and Philosophy, University of San Diego (1985, summa cum laude)