About Darla K. Deardorff


Darla K. Deardorff is the Chairholder of the new UNESCO Chair on Intercultural Competence at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) as well as a research scholar at Duke University, affiliated with Duke’s Center for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation.  She is the former executive director of the Association of International Education Administrators, a position she held for 19 years.  She has also been an adjunct faculty member in the Program in Education and a faculty affiliate with International/Comparative Studies at Duke.  In addition, she also holds  faculty appointments at  York University (Canada),  as well at Nelson Mandela University in South Africa, at Durban University of Technology in South Africa,  Meiji University Research Institute of International Education (RIIE) in Japan as well as visiting faculty at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)  in China.  Dr. Deardorff has served on faculty of Harvard University’s Future of Learning Institute as well as Harvard University’s Global Education Think Tank,  in addition to being on faculty at the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication in Portland, Oregon. She has also been affiliated faculty at North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and  Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds- Metropolitan)  in the United Kingdom and taught at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand.  She regularly receives invitations from around the world (in over 40 countries including in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia) to speak on her research and work on intercultural competence, international education assessment, and internationalization and is a noted expert on these topics, being twice named a Senior Fulbright Specialist (to South Africa and to Japan).  She has been the keynote speaker for numerous conferences around the world including the IVEC Conference in Spain; ANIE Conference in Rwanda; SIETAR Japan Conference;  ISANA Conference in Australia;  CERCLL Intercultural Competence Conference in the US, ICC Global Conference in Salzburg, Austria; Intercultural Horizons Conference in Siena, Italy;  as well as other conferences in China, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Colombia, South Africa, the Netherlands,  the United States, among other countries.  In May 2012, Dr. Deardorff was the commencement speaker at Bridgewater College in Virginia, US.

Dr. Deardorff has published widely on topics in international education, global leadership and intercultural learning/assessment with over 80 book chapters and articles and  14 published books including as editor of The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence (Sage, 2009) as well as lead editor of The SAGE Handbook of International Higher Education (Sage, 2012) with Hans de Wit, John Heyl and Tony Adams, Building Cultural Competence (Stylus, 2012)  with Kate Berardo and co-author of Beneath the Tip of the Iceberg:  Improving English and Understanding US American Cultural Patterns (University of Michigan Press, 2011). She is also author of Demystifying Outcomes Assessment for International Educators: A Practical Approach (Stylus, 2015) and  co-editor of Intercultural Competence in Higher Education: International Approaches, Assessment, Application (Routledge, 2017) with Lily Arasaratnam-Smith.  Her seventh book, Leading Internationalization (Stylus, 2018) is with Harvey Charles and more recently, she is author of the Manual on Developing Intercultural Competencies: Story Circles (Routledge/UNESCO, 2020)- available as Open Access in 6+ languages at https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000370336 and lead editor of the  2nd edition of The Handbook on International Higher Education (Stylus, 2022) with Hans de Wit, Betty Leask and Harvey Charles. Her most recent publications are Developing Intercultural Competence in Higher Education: International Students’ Stories and Self-Reflection with Lily Arasaratnam-Smith (Routledge, 2023) and the open access Current Perspectives on Intercultural and Global Competence (Routledge/STAR Scholar Network/World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence, 2024).

Dr. Deardorff has worked in the international education field for over thirty years and previously held positions at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill where she has had experience in study abroad, international student services, cultural programming, and ESL teaching/teacher training. She is also an ESL instructor and teacher trainer with over twelve years of experience and has lived, taught and worked in Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and South Africa.  A trainer for the EAIE Academy in Europe, Dr. Deardorff is an experienced cross-cultural trainer and coach and conducts training for non-profits, corporations and educational institutions.  She is a consultant for numerous universities and organizations around the world on topics related to intercultural competence development and assessment, global leadership, teacher education, and internationalization. One of her  consultant projects was for UNESCO on comparative perspectives on intercultural competence which resulted in an invitation to speak at the first UN World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, as well as at  UN-related events in Doha, Qatar and Belgrade, Serbia.  Another UNESCO project involved piloting an intercultural competence methodology, UNESCO Story Circles,  in UNESCO regions around the world and she recently worked on a UNESCO project exploring intersections of intercultural competence and peacebuilding, as well as a Global Citizenship Education project with UNESCO-Bangkok.  She has also served as a consultant with the OECD (including as one of four OECD lead experts on the PISA Global Competence test), AFS International, European Commission, Council of Europe, and International Baccalaureate. She is founder of ICC Global, a worldwide network of researchers and practitioners on intercultural competence, which is part of the global non-profit  World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence of which she is Founding President.

Dr. Deardorff holds a master’s and doctorate from North Carolina State University where she focused on international education. Her dissertation, focused on the definition and assessment of intercultural competence, has drawn national and international attention and her intercultural competence models developed through her research are being used worldwide by such organizations as the Bertelsmann Foundation in Germany, Intercultura Foundation and Cariplo Foundation in Italy, Sodexo, and NVAO in Europe.   She can be reached through LinkedIn and at d.deardorff@duke.edu

For a succinct summary of Dr. Deardorff’s seminal work on intercultural competence, see http://www.nafsa.org/_/file/_/theory_connections_intercultural_competence.pdf

In the media:

2021 Talk on UNESCO Story Circles (virtually in Denmark)

2021 Facebook Interview from Agents of Change: Mediating Minorities

2021 Manchester University article on VIA Keynote

2021 Interview with Faith & Leadership, Duke University

2020 Interview with AFS International

2020 Interview with University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

2020 Interview with Elspeth Jones (UK)

2019 Interview on UNESCO Story Circles intercultural methodology (Duke University)

2019 Interview with Study Abroad Smarter

2017 Interview on FreshEd

From a 2016 TESOL interview:

From a 2016 interview on Mezun TV (Turkey):  http://www.mezun.tv/expert-opinion-discussions-on-higher-education/aeia-icra-direktoru-dr-darla-deardorff-ile-uluslararasilasma-uzerine-soylesi/

From 2015 talk at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W2PNtoJWHU 

From 2013 interview on Chinese TV (14 min. into the program on Azerbaijan and World Forum): http://www.m1905.com/video/play/713998.shtml

From a 2012 interview with Dr. Deardorff on the value of intercultural competence at higher education institutions:  https://www.academicimpressions.com/blog/international-student-success-the-missing-piece/


Other related links:

Written interview with AFS: https://conference.afs.org/darla-deardorff/ 

Quote in Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/campuses-flourish-when-teachers-travel_us_59a4595ce4b0a62d0987b13f

Inside Higher Ed: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/02/24/survey-international-students-asks-what-theyd-their-professors-improve

Chronicle of Higher Education: http://www.chronicle.com/blogs/worldwise/a-failure-to-capitalize-on-globalization/33965

About Fulbright in Japan: https://www.toyo.ac.jp/en/news/international-exchange/20181218news/




See other pages for Invited Talks, Publications and Teaching Experience


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