Jeffrey Cookson, GPHR, SPHR, Manager of Learning & Development

As Manager of Learning and Development for LCW, Jeffrey Cookson (Jeffrey@lcwmail.com) brings 20 years’ experience spanning the organizational development and intercultural fields. His body of work centers primarily on diversity training and consulting in both the domestic and international arenas.  He is an ethnic Magyar (Hungarian) who grew up in a bilingual, bicultural household in the U.S. and leverages this background—alongside his extensive coaching, consulting and training experience—in order to create practical inclusion strategies that improve productivity, manage risk and contain costs. Cookson holds certification as a Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resources Certification Institute, the global Human Resources certification body.

Cookson excels at helping individuals, organizations and systems understand and address complex and controversial topics. He routinely uses both the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Styles Assessment (TKI) and the Intercultural Conflict Styles Inventory. He is licensed to offer the We Care COLORS training system and is a certified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). He has conducted hundreds of individual and group feedback sessions using these tools for nationals in over a dozen countries in North and South America, the European Union, Asia and the Caribbean. Cookson is also an expert in the design, development and implementation of diversity and inclusion training and consulting platforms for delivery in face-to-face, virtual, and train-the-trainer formats. 

Prior to joining LCW, Cookson worked for 14 years at MRA-Trusight, a member-based management consultancy where he served as Global Diversity Inclusion Specialist focusing on human resources and organization development. There he was also an instructor for PHR/SPHR/GPHR Certification Preparation Courses and responsible for the implementation of nearly 50 training programs and consultative services. He’s also an MRA-certified coach and has staffed numerous coaching assignments.

A representative list of organizations that he has served in his career includes Lockheed Martin, Wells Fargo, Kroll OnTrack, Check Point Security, Exterran, Ecumen, Coloplast, Hereaus, 3M, Cargill, Caring Bridge, Augsburg College, Carleton College, William and Mitchell College of Law, Girl Scouts of Minnesota & Wisconsin River Valleys, Caterpillar, Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Hazelden, U.S. Foods, Merchant & Gould, St. Jude Medical, Banner Engineering, Amherst Wilder Foundation, Faegre & Benson, CHS and, the Minnesota State Senate and counties of Anoka, Ramsey and Hennepin.

Since 2009 he’s served on the faculty at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota where he teaches at the graduate level in the Management Program. Early in his career Cookson held professional academic appointments at the University of Minnesota for six years within Multicultural Affairs. In this role he was tasked with building bridges across diverse domestic and international communities at all organizational levels, and helping senior level government officials from over 30 countries understand and adapt to U.S. business practices.

Cookson is a former member of the National Board of Directors of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR-USA) and is a current member of the Creative Education Foundation, and the Society for Human Resources Management. He’s presented numerous times at the Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity and at many international conferences. He has completed professional development studies at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (Portland, Oregon), the Open Society Institute (Budapest, Hungary), the Creative Problem Solving Institute (Chicago, Illinois), Pedagogy & Theater of the Oppressed (Minneapolis, MN) the School for Movement Theater (Elk River, West Virginia), the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and the Employers Association (Plymouth, Minnesota).

Cookson earned a Master’s of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Today he resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is proud to be Theatrical Director at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Office of First Year and Orientation Programs; he’s been annually appointed to this post since 1997. Cookson also worked professionally as a theatrical artist at numerous theaters in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the U.S.