Sharon Kristjanson is an intercultural professional specializing in skill development for growing leaders. Her proprietary workshop—Engaging with Difference®—provides a blueprint for working with different viewpoints constructively. She takes an unconventional approach to diversity and inclusion issues: she teaches how to maintain open dialogue around diverse viewpoints so that the interaction is truly fruitful and does not become one-sided. Sharon’s passion is rooted in helping people expand their capacity to work with differences, develop nuanced understanding of complex narratives, and elevate their collaborative efforts.
Over the course of her career, Sharon has launched many successful initiatives in both corporate and non-profit arenas, with viable, long-term results. In addition to having launched and managed a non-profit organization called Connecting Cultures Through Understanding, for which she received the David Kellum Award, Sharon also brought stronger communication skills into the financial institutions where she worked. Early in her career she did corporate and investment banking, and in that arena, she was drawn to issues of how to enhance collaboration.
Sharon’s education is international and includes graduate course work in advanced economics at the Institut universitaire de hautes études internationales (now known as The Graduate Institute, Geneva) in Geneva, Switzerland, and an Honors B.A. in Economics (equivalent to an M.A. in the U.S.) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Her secondary schooling (Grades 6-12) was at an international school in Rome, Italy (American Overseas School of Rome).