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Senior Research Analyst & Facilitator

Global Engagement


Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrator

Dr. Naomi Olson headshot

Name pronunciation

Dr. Naomi Olson (she/her/hers) is an intercultural learner and educator committed to racial equity and social justice who strives to hold herself and others accountable in co-creating inclusive environments in which everyone may thrive. Naomi is a white woman, a mother of two, and a polyglot (English, Russian, and Spanish).


She has devoted her life to learning from and about history, literature, and cultures (broadly defined) worldwide and at home. She has lived and worked in Russia, Guatemala, Malawi, Ukraine, the United States, and New Zealand, where she has researched and taught language, literature, and interculturalism at the university level and beyond.

Naomi's expertise is in instructional design (culturally sustaining pedagogy, andragogy, experiential learning, curricular design), intercultural skills development (through an international decolonial social justice lens), and research (semiotics, literary and critical theory, critical discourse analysis).

She specializes in translating abstract, complex concepts into digestible instruction tailored to engage specific audiences. Having worked with a wide range of learners (young professionals, undergraduates, secondary students, adult learners) in diverse settings, Naomi uses an instructional design approach that is intentional, learner-centered, and culturally intelligent at its core.

For fun, Naomi likes to go on bike rides with her friends and family to attend local art events. Naomi is also an amateur mixologist who loves to bring people together to try out her new inventions. She finds daily joy in coffee and podcasts.

*Naomi Olson's services provided through Culturally Intelligent Training & Consulting, LLC are not connected to her professional, educational, or private affiliations.

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Slavic Languages & Literatures (2015) 

    • University of Wisconsin-Madison 

  • Master of Arts: Slavic Languages & Literatures (2007)  

    • University of Wisconsin-Madison 

  • Bachelor of Arts: Russian 

    • Grinnell College 

  • 2018 NAFSA International Educator Rising Star Young Leader Award 

    • Presented to professionals who promise to make a lasting impact in the field


  • 2009 Honored Instructors Award 

    • Student-nominated award for inspirational UW-Madison instructors  

  • 2008 Early Excellence in Teaching 

    • University of Wisconsin-Madison 

Selected Publications
  • Trauma-Informed Coach Certification; International Coaching Federation

  • Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator 

  • Brave Space LGBTQIA+ Gender & Sexuality Inclusivity Certification 

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