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IDR Institute

Directors and Staff

  • IDRInstitute Board of Directors

    Dr. Milton J. Bennett

    Dott. Ida Castiglioni

    Dr. Lee Knefelkamp




    IDRInstitute Board of Directors

    Milton J. Bennett

    MiltonDr. Milton J. Bennett served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia from 1968-1970, and returned to complete his doctorate in intercultural communication and sociology at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He also holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and a master's degree in psycholinguistics from San Francisco State University.

    He was a tenured professor at Portland State University in Oregon, where he created their graduate program in intercultural communication, and he has been an adjunct faculty member of graduate-level intercultural programs at Antioch College of Yellow Springs, Ohio and the University of the Pacific of Stockton, California. He is now an adjunct professor of intercultural studies in the Department of Sociology of the University of Milano Bicocca in Italy and also teaches in the graduate programs of the University of Switzerland in Lugano, Danube University in Krems, Austria, and Peking University Summer School in Beijing, China.

    Dr. Bennett is the author of Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication: Paradigms, Principles, & Practices (Intercultural Press USA, 2013; Peking University Press China, 2012; Franco Angeli Press Italy, 2014), co-editor and contributor to the third edition of The Handbook of Intercultural Training (Sage, 2004), co-author (with Edward Stewart) of the revised edition of American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (Intercultural Press, 1991), a reviewer for the professional journals International Journal of Intercultural Relations and Journal of Intercultural Education, and the author of many articles on intercultural competence and global leadership for American and European publications.

    He is well-known for his Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity which is used internationally to guide intercultural training design and to assess intercultural competence. In 2006 he founded the Intercultural Development Research Institute (IDRI), whose mission is to sponsor new theory and research in intercultural development, to formalize a developmental approach to intercultural adaptation, and to inform public discourse with scientific study of intercultural relations. IDRI operates in the USA and in Italy.

    Through Bennett Intercultural Development, LLC, Dr. Bennett creates and conducts programs in domestic and international diversity for corporations, universities, and other organizations. He addresses high-potential managers and executives of global corporations in the U.S., Asia, and Europe on topics of global leadership and the development of intercultural competence for themselves and their organizations, and he has conducted seminars for university faculty in Japan, China, Italy, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, and the U.S. He has been on the teaching faculties of the Tuck School of Business of Dartmouth University, the Smith College School of Business, the Boeing Leadership Center, Motorola University, Telenor Corporate University, and the Stockholm School of Economics. He currently is an associate in Mesa Research Group, which conducts innovative global leadership programs.

    Dr. Bennett is a founder of The Intercultural Communication Institute (ICI), a non-profit educational foundation that has operated in Portland, Oregon USA since 1986. During his directorship at ICI (1986-2013), he was instrumental in developing ICI's master's degree in intercultural relations (in conjunction with the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California) and the annual Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, the field's largest and oldest professional development program.



    Ida Castiglioni

    MiltonDr. Ida Castiglioni is a professor of the sociology of cultural processes in the Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano-Bicocca. At UMB she designed and teaches the graduate specialization of Intercultural Relations in the Programming and Management of Social Services and Public Policies program. She has also taught in the graduate program of Management and Analysis of Development Projects at the University of Milano, University of Firenze, and Reggio Calabria, and in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Milano. She graduated summa cum laude with a laurea in Political Science from the University of Milano and holds a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication from the University of Jyväskylä (Finland).
    In addition to her work at the university, Dr. Castiglioni is a therapist with a Master Degree in Somatic Psychology and a Certificate in Clinical Counseling. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Institute of Somatic Psychology in Milano (IPSO).

    In her intercultural consulting work, Dr. Castiglioni conducts programs for both corporations and public institutions. She has taught in Europe, Africa, the Russian Federation, NIS, and the United States. Her clients include Eni, Boeing Company, Lak Group, Brembo, Aventis Group, the European Commission, and the Chambers of Commerce of Milano and Bologna and many Italian public institutions and socil services. She has been involved in several European Union projects, including the design and facilitation of intercultural training sessions for the Manager's Training Programme (MTP 1 and 2), the largest internship program ever sponsored by the European Union, which has brought almost 2000 managers from Russia, NIS countries, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Mongolia to seven European countries. She has conducted a large research and training project in the development and assessment of intercultural competence for social services and healthcare, sponsored by the Province of Milano.

    Dr. Castiglioni has served on the Board of Directors of Sietar Europa (The Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) and Sietar Italia. She currently is a founding director of the Intercultural Development Research Institute (IDRI), whose mission is to sponsor new theory and research in intercultural development, to formalize a developmental approach to intercultural adaptation, and to inform public discourse with scientific study of intercultural relations. IDRI operates in the USA and in Italy.

    Her most recent book is Constructing intercultural competence in Italian social service and healthcare organization (University of Jyväskylä Press, 2013). Dr. Castiglioni is known for the best seller: La comunicazione interculturale. Competenze e pratiche (Carocci Editore, Roma, 2005), and she has written La differenza c'è. Gestire la diversità nell'organizzazione dei servizi (Franco Angeli, Milano, 2009). She is also the Italian editor of the translated version of Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication (M.Bennett, (ed)., FrancoAngeli Press, 2002 and its revised edition, Paradigms, Principles, & Practices, 2014) and the author of several articles on intercultural topics in Italian and in English.



    Lee Knefelkamp

    MiltonDr. L. Lee Knefelkamp served in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica from 1968 to 1970.  She holds a BA degree in literature and humanities studies from Macalester College, and an MA and PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Minnesota.  She has been a faculty member and Program Chair of Counseling and Student Development at the University of Maryland; Dean of the School of Education at The American University in Washington, DC; Academic Dean of the Faculty at Macalester College; and Senior Fellow with the American Association for Higher Education.  She is currently Full Professor of Psychology and Education in the Program of Social Organizational Psychology at Teachers College Columbia University.  At Teachers College she has also served as the Chair of the department of Adult and Higher Education.

    For the past 20 years Dr. Knefelkamp has also been a Senior Scholar with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) where she has most recently contributed significantly to its initiative, Core Commitments, which studied five dimensions of student personal and civic responsibility as outcomes of a college education and generated the widely-used Personal and Social Responsibility Inventory.

    Dr. Knefelkamp is considered one of the United States pioneering scholars in the area of intellectual and ethical development.  She is the author of numerous scholarly articles and chapters in the areas of intellectual and cognitive development, ethical and moral development, identity development, adult learning, and pedagogical design for effective learning environments.  A major emphasis of her scholarly work and consultation is on understanding organizational and educational climate and how to facilitate making those climates more effectively responsive to both domestic and global aspects of personal and cultural diversity.  Her book (with Widick and Parker), Applying New Developmental Findings, was the first in American higher education to present a coherent conceptual mapping of student development theory and research--a mapping which has become the standard taxonomy to this day.

    For 35 years Dr. Knefelkamp has been the most active researcher of William G. Perry, Jr.'s model of "intellectual and ethical development".  She (along with Widick) developed the first pedagogical designs using the model to promote intellectual growth of learners; the most widely used assessment measure for the model (The Measure of Intellectual Development--MID), and the assessment procedures (and training manual) for determining the distinctions between and among the 9 complexity positions of the model.  For the past 20 years her research has focused on the integration of intellectual and identity models with Milton Bennett's model of intercultural sensitivity.

    Dr. Knefelkamp teaches a wide range of courses in both intercultural communication and in professional ethics.  She is particularly knowledgeable in the study of ethical issues in the context of intercultural and global issues and how the ethical stances of individuals, groups, and organizations are formed in an intercultural context. She is particularly interested in the differences between a naive early stage of intellectual thought in which the individual often thinks dichotomously (dualistically) and the pernicious form of dichotomous thought which produces authoritarianism and bigoted thought and action.


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