Sharon V. Kristjanson, Principal
Sharon Kristjanson is an intercultural professional who has lived among multiple cultures in six countries on several continents. In addition, she has visited another twenty countries. She has over twenty-five years of experience in developing effective modes of communication across perceived differences, in both corporate and non-profit environments. Her expertise rests on a well-honed ability to identify and articulate key insights and concepts.
In addition to having lived and worked interculturally her entire life, Sharon is trained and certified to educate others. Sharon is a Certified Intercultural Practitioner, demonstrating advanced knowledge of intercultural theory and practice. She is also a licensed administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a premier assessment tool for measuring intercultural competence.
Prior to establishing SVK Intercultural LLC, Sharon was Founder and Executive Director of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization called Connecting Cultures Through Understanding,™ for which she received the David Kellum Award. The organization produced educational programs for the general public and developed a curriculum on global citizenship for junior-high classrooms -- all with a mission to foster deeper understanding among people of different cultures.
Sharon's education was almost entirely in international settings: Italy, Iran, Canada, France, and Switzerland. Her father was an agricultural economist on the global stage, so Sharon's elementary and secondary studies included a British school in Tehran, and an American/international school in Rome. Sharon earned an Honors B.A. in economics from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario (equivalent to an M.A. in the U.S.), and completed graduate course work in advanced economics and monetary law at The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. More recently, Sharon was granted a Fellowship in 2013 at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, and has earned graduate-level certification as an Intercultural Practitioner from the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon.
Sharon's passion centers on developing capacities for intercultural understanding, both her own and those of others. In addition to offering the Engaging with Difference® Workshop, she does consulting and coaching.
Read some of Sharon's backstory as shared in an interview with Voyage Chicago.