Kari Heistad

Kari Heistad has been working in the fields of diversity, equity, and inclusion and cultural competency for more than 30 years. With diversity as the hallmark of her work, her experiences have brought her into contact with world leaders, inner-city youth, nonprofit organizations, and businesspeople.

As the founder and CEO of Culture Coach International, a Boston-based consulting firm founded in 1998, her work has focused on helping companies to solve the teamwork issues that arise from diverse and multicultural teams. She has worked across the public and private sectors as well as healthcare and government. Her clients have ranged from 25-person firms to those with more than 100,000 employees. While living in Greece, Kari worked as a contractor for the State Department at the American Embassy, and she continues to have close connections with active diplomats.

She has spoken to more than 18,000 people through her speeches and training programs. She has developed numerous models for diversity and inclusion, more than 100 tips cards on diversity topics, huddles for team discussions, and countless other tools, resources, and fact sheets. The tools she has developed have been used by more than 500,000 people worldwide.

Kari’s travels and interactions have strengthened her commitment to promoting international issues and understanding. She speaks regularly before regional and international conferences and her articles have appeared in regional and national publications. She holds a master’s degree in international administration, and she was a Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand.

In 1997, Kari founded the Diversity Dashboard, an online project management platform designed to help diversity professionals manage their diversity programs while gleaning metrics that show the value of their work. The Dashboard launched a new DEI monthly subscription service called “The DEI Boxx” in the fall of 2021.