Karla Benson Rutten’s life and work are rooted in creating spaces and opportunities for people to be their best selves. She excels in identifying and cultivating the talents in others and is a strong communicator, leader, and coach. As a facilitator, trainer, and consultant, Karla works proactively and collaboratively with people, organizations and communities to ensure that working and living environments are inclusive, equitable, safe, and welcoming for all people. In all that she does, Karla’s ultimate goal is to motivate and inspire people to love who they are; believe in and value the beauty and power of their identities, humanities, and worth; and create the change they seek in themselves and their communities.
Karla has 20 years of experience in higher education and nonprofit institutions. She has worked at public and private colleges and universities throughout her career, and from 2002-2017, Karla served as the founding director of Macalester College’s Lealtad-Suzuki multicultural center and as the Title IX Coordinator & Director of Equity. As a higher education practitioner and DEI trainer and consultant, she has deep experience in diversity, social justice, and sexual violence prevention program development; intercultural communication; facilitation and training; building community partnerships; and creating strong, diverse, and equitable communities.
Karla is certified as an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrator. She is also certified as an Orange Method (OM) Community Coach for Healing Justice through Joi Unlimited Coaching & Consulting and holds a certificate in Personal Development Coaching from the Coaching & Positive Psychology (CaPP) Institute. Karla received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Iowa State University and her master’s degree in Counseling and Personnel Services at the University of Maryland, College Park.