System Director, Diversity, Equity & InclusionCompany: PeaceHealth
Role: Session Presenter
2020 Conference Session:
Journey Beyond the Comfort Zone: Designing and Facilitating Transformative Learning Experiences for Leaders
2019 Conference Session: Navigating Conscious and Unconscious Bias in Customer Care (S3-D)
2019 Conference Session: Training Leaders for Cultural Responsiveness and Equity Accountability: A Road Map for Designing, Facilitating and Sustaining an Organizational Change Initiative (S5-G)
Riikka Salonen, MA, a bi-national native of Finland, brings 25 years of experience as a strategic leader for inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA). Since June 2019, she has served as the system director for diversity, equity and inclusion at PeaceHealth, a health system that owns and operates 10 hospitals and numerous clinics in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. Currently, Riikka is developing a strategic plan for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) 2023, in a partnership with the PeaceHealth Equity of Care Steering Committee. The IDEA 2023 Strategic Plan will be launched July 2020.
Prior to joining PeaceHealth, Riikka was the program manager of diversity talent acquisition at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), the only academic medical center in Oregon. Riikka led the efforts that increased people of color, immigrants and refugees, women, people with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ community members in OHSU’s workforce. She also led diversity and inclusion strategic planning for the OHSU Clinical Enterprise in 2009–2016. With Kristen Wong, she was the co-designer and facilitator of the Intercultural Communications for Leaders series, which has been creating transformational learning results for hundreds of leaders since 2015.
Previously, Riikka served as an intercultural program specialist and a faculty of intercultural communication at The Scholar Ship. This global assignment took her to 17 different countries and involved intercultural teaching, training, coaching and research within an academic community comprised of more than 50 nationalities. Prior to this, Riikka was the associate director of assessment and research at the Intercultural Communication Institute.
Riikka has taught classes at 13 different colleges and universities and speaks regularly at various conferences. She has designed and facilitated hundreds of workshops related to culturally-responsive leadership, diversity and inclusion strategic planning, diversity talent acquisition, cultural competence in patient care, multicultural customer service and intercultural communication around the globe. Riikka has offered consulting services since 1994, most recently through her company, Global Inclusion Consulting, LLC. She has also published multiple articles about intercultural and diversity topics. She received her graduate degree in intercultural relations, organizational and speech communications from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.