I’m a strategic design leader with 20 years experience working on digital challenges across a variety of contexts and problem spaces.
I’ve spent the last three and a half years working within the federal government at 18F, consulting with agency partners on legacy technology issues, strategic assessments, and the development of new services. This builds on previous work at HHS and CMS designing HealthCare.gov, as well as similar work for the United Nations, higher education, and nonprofits and extensive private sector work in a variety of industries: journalism, ecommerce, fashion, entertainment, retail, and more.
Broad design and strategy expertise
While I think of myself as a designer, I realize a lot of my work extends beyond what people generally attribute to that label. My work moves between business consulting, strategic planning, a variety of design activities and solutioning, to coaching, writing, and cheerleading. It all boils down to finding the most appropriate way to move forward and meet the needs of the people affected by an organization of system.
I begin with a client engagement posture that’s built on mutual trust and meeting partner needs. I use a range of research and inquiry methods to develop an understanding of the challenges at hand. From a place of understanding, I work to define strategies that progressively increase understanding and continually deliver value. Through prototyping and visualizations, I produce artifacts that allow people to react so that we may refine. I define approaches that allow for incremental delivery and continuous learning, working to establish positions of strength and health in complex systems.
Complexity & clarity
A lot of my work has focused on moving teams from a state of being overwhelmed by complexity or divided by silos to a state of forward motion and strategic direction. I’ve done this by gathering and synthesizing complex information, communicating findings in understandable ways, building consensus among teams through shared understanding, establishing focus and direction, and then executing against plans, always learning through development and reacting to curveballs as they emerge. Examples include:
- Translating the broad statutory requirements of the Affordable Care Act into a usable health insurance exchange (HealthCare.gov) millions use each year to get health coverage.
- Establishing a legacy transformation model for state public assistance agencies based on incremental delivery and modular procurement built on empowering existing staff.
Trust through openness
It’s important to me to operate in an open and honest way. That includes sharing my own concerns and uncertainties and encouraging others to as well. The challenges I see usually include quite a bit of risk. It’s helpful to speak directly to the fears that arise from such risk. When working in consulting arrangements, I have focused on establishing shared trust with partners, deeply learning about their domain, helping them look at their situation differently so that we can define solutions together. In my work with colleagues, I share what I know and what I don’t, so that we might grow together and do better work.
I enjoy working with people. At ease working with clients or partners at all levels, whether they are the highest executives or front-line workers, I love understanding the needs of the people within an organization and working to improve their positions. I equally enjoy aligning those organizations with the needs of their users. I bring an empathetic posture to this work and thrive within diverse, cross-functional teams. I value informal leadership and teammates to support and be supported by.
Sometimes the thing that’s needed isn’t what’s asked for. As I become immersed in a space, I tend to draw conclusions that lead me toward exploring new concepts or interventions. At times this has included instigating internal efforts in new areas. At other times it’s involved tossing ideas out into the ether and see what resonates. Some examples:
- NEW - Eligibility Systems Concept - Reflecting on opportunities ahead based on my time at 18F.
- The Eligibility APIs Initiative - Delivering eligibility policy as reusable code. Raised $1.5M through four rounds from the 10x program.
- Envisioning a Health Insurance Exchange - The concept piece describing the value of exchanges during the ACA debate that led to an invitation by the White House to join government to create HealthCare.gov.
- Cofounding 18F’s Human Services Portfolio - Recognizing a gap in the 18F structure, I worked to build community and successfully pitched for the Portfolio’s creation.
We face unprecedented challenges as a global community. To the extent that I can, I want my labor to help people navigate these challenges, while also being a fully-present parent and spouse.
If any of my experience aligns with the needs of your organization, I’d love to speak with you. With my term at 18F expiring, I am exploring new opportunities.