Milton Bennett is a founding director of the Intercultural Development Research Institute (IDRInstitute), which sponsors innovative research in the area of intercultural communication competence. Based on these investigations and other work in intercultural relations, he creates and conducts programs in domestic and international diversity for corporations, universities, and government agencies. 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 conscious intercultural communication competence. He also conducts seminars for corporate trainers and university faculty in Japan, Italy, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, and the U.S. and has served on the teaching faculties of the Tuck School of Business of Dartmouth University, the Boeing Leadership Center, Eni Corporate University (Italy), Motorola University, Telenor Corporate University, and the Stockholm School of Economics. He currently is an associate in MESA Research Group (USA) and a senior faculty member of IDRAcademy (Italy).
Milton was a tenured faculty member at Portland State University in Oregon, where he created their graduate program in intercultural communication. He is now an adjunct faculty member of the Department of Sociology of the University of Milano–Bicocca in Italy, where he teaches graduate courses in intercultural development. He is co-author (with Edward Stewart) of the revised edition of American Cultural Patterns: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (Intercultural Press, 1991), the editor of Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication: Selected Readings (Intercultural Press, 1998) containing a number of his chapters and articles, the co-editor and contributor to the third edition of The Handbook of Intercultural Training (Sage, 2004), and the author of many articles on intercultural competence and global leadership for American and European publications. His revised textbook is Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication: Paradigms, Principles, and Practices (Intercultural Press, 2013), also published in Chinese as Constructing Intercultural Communication and its Practices (Peking University Press, 2012) and in Italian as Principles of Intercultural Communication: Paradigms and Practices (Franco Angeli, 2015).
Milton is well known for his Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, which since its publication in 1986 has become the accepted theory of intercultural communication development and guide for intercultural training design. The DMIS represents Milton’s research conclusion that perceptual complexity and contextual awareness are the key processes in intercultural competence and the communicative aspects of global leadership.
Milton was a founder and long-time director of The Intercultural Communication Institute (ICI), a non-profit training institute that has operated in Portland, Oregon USA since 1986. ICI sponsors the annual Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, the field’s premier professional development program. For his theoretical and institutional contributions to the field of intercultural communication, Milton has received the highest awards for excellence from the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR) and from NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
After serving as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia from 1968-1970, Milton returned to complete his doctorate in intercultural communication and sociology at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in from Stanford University (two years of physics, BA in literature) and a master’s degree in psycholinguistics from San Francisco State University. He now splits his time between the USA (Hillsboro, Oregon) and Milan with his Italian wife and bicultural son.