Riikka Salonen, MA, has been devoted to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work for the past 28 years. Riikka received a graduate degree in intercultural relations and intercultural communication from University of Jyväskylä, the first one of its kind in Europe. She began her American career at the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon. Riikka was a part of a global start-up team creating an ocean-going university, The Scholar Ship, where she co-led the intercultural residential life and taught intercultural communication, while circum-navigating the world with students and peers from 50 different nations. For the following 14 years, Riikka served as a DEI leader at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and PeaceHealth.
Riikka supports organizations in their journey of building psychologically safe and inclusive workplace culture that enhances employees’ capacity to thrive, feel a sense of belonging and serve community in culturally responsive ways. She has offered her services in 20 countries since 1994. Riikka is one of the 112 global Expert Panellists who developed the 2021 Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks. Riikka was recognized as a Top 21 DEI Influencer by HonestCulture Inc. in 2021. Glaser & Associates Inc. named her to be a Leadership Communication Thought Leader in 2022.