Who Should Attend

The SIETAR USA conference brings together professionals from many countries, ethnicities, occupations and industries for collaborative learning and stimulating exchange of ideas. The result is an increase in our own intercultural competency, along with support for our clients, trainees, and students as we all move forward in intercultural skills, awareness and knowledge.

The conference is not only an event that allows people to learn about cutting-edge topics, but also a meeting place of people who care about how culture plays a role in daily life and the importance of finding avenues to effective relations across cultures.

Whether you are a long-time SIETAR USA member, or this is your first experience with the organization, please plan to join us in San Diego, CA this October!

Conference attendees come from:

    • Global Business and Multinational Corporations
    • Education
    • Health Services
    • Training and Coaching
    • Research
    • Government
    • Refugee and Immigrant Support Services
    • Domestic Diversity
    • Global Diversity
    • Cultural Transitions
    • Peace and Conflict Resolution
    • Tourism
    • Communication and Dialogue Professions
    • Community Development

We look forward to seeing you in San Diego!

The Conference Co-Chairs Welcome You 

We look forward to welcoming you in San Diego when we will explore the theme: Building Bridges with Intercultural Competence: Changing World, Changing People, Changing Times.

In addition to sessions of general intercultural interest that explore the conference theme, the conference program includes three tracks:

    • Healing the Divides: Race, Ethnic and National Origin, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Immigrants and Refugees Face Challenges in our Changing Times.
    • Cultural Identity: Fresh Perspectives on Multicultural and Global Identity
    • Assessing Intercultural Competence: Measuring Transformative Culture Learning.

Each of us works to bridge transformations caused by change. The system in which we live—boundaries, borders, nations—has accelerated change enormously, sometimes beyond human tolerance or comprehension. We are all involved somehow in this change: change of society, of organizations, of communities, of one person who wants to learn. And each change often puts into action unpredictable consequences, of which may we know little. Some changes amaze and delight; others, not so much.

The 17th annual SIETAR USA conference brings together two senior members of the intercultural field and perhaps two of the longest-term members of SIETAR International and SIETAR USA. We have designed a conference to support you with stimulating thinking, inspiring insights, expanding skills and renewing commitments—we will work together to explore important questions and seek avenues of human connection.


For us as the Co-Chairs, the annual conference is a time of renewal of our commitment to the intercultural field. We return to our daily lives refreshed and energized to make a difference for the people who are our students, clients, colleagues.

Janet Marie Bennett

A long time ago, in a land far, far away, I found myself living for two years on a tropical island one-mile square in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. As a member of the U. S. Peace Corps, my worldview was transformed from being a child of the seventies into a global soul. And that has shaped my subsequent career.

For the last thirty years, I have served as the executive director of the Intercultural Communication Institute, sponsor of the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, and director of the Master of Arts Degree Program in Intercultural Relations. My publications have focused on intercultural competence, training of trainers, and the integration of diversity and global initiatives. I recently completed the delightful task of editing the SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence.

I particularly enjoy teaching about intercultural competence to international development and relief workers based throughout the world, and formulating curriculum for several trainer corps groups established in government agencies and universities. For those of us who appreciate the pleasure of working across cultures, we scarcely need to cultivate hobbies. However, my passion for folk crafts, especially weaving, always gives me a unique window into various cultures.

Sandra (Sandy) Mumford Fowler 

I first heard of SIETAR when I was assigned to work on a new simulation for the US Navy. It was called BaFa BaFa. In 1979, I moved from San Diego, where I was a research psychologist at the Navy Personnel Research and Development Center to Washington, DC, to take over the Navy’s Overseas Duty Support Program. Several of the Navy officers who were using BaFa suggested that I join SIETAR to learn more about the intercultural field. Not one to ignore a good suggestion, I attended my first SIETAR conference in Mexico City in 1979. I have missed only one since then.

SIETAR quickly became my professional family providing support, new ideas and concepts, practical advice, friendship, and acceptance—all the things a family can offer. In return, I served on several SIETAR International (by then International had been added to the name of the society) committees such as the conference program committee and the nominating committee, and task forces like the one that examined the possibility of SIETAR starting a certification program. I chaired a conference and held offices such as President of SIETAR International. My involvement continued in a variety of ways when SIETAR USA was formed. I have always appreciated the opportunities SIETAR extends to people who want to get involved and give back.

When I’m not working on SIETAR USA conferences (this one in San Diego is my third as a prime organizer), I have a passion for art, not as an artist but collecting and writing about art in the capacity of Art Co-Chair for the American Psychologist. Having been to over 50 countries, I live with fine and folk art from around the world. Using art for intercultural training has been a highlight of my long career.

Sponsors for 2017 Conference

Platinum Sponsor

GOLD Sponsor


Special Sponsor

Contact Us
P.O. Box 578
Westmont, IL 60559-0578



Wild Apricot theme design and development by Webbright