Kate Hanisian

Co-founder, Executive Director

Kate is no stranger to the complexity of social change. After all, she’s had her hand in many sides of it.

Kate has grown Design Impact from a small idea to a full-fledged public interest design firm. Her journey has focused on the creation of inclusive learning environments that spark social change.

After earning her M.Ed, Kate spent four years teaching high school language arts focused on traditionally underserved students. Her interest in youth-led program development took her to live and work in India, Jamaica, and New Zealand. Later, she worked in criminal justice reform through Ohio Justice & Policy Center, working in organization and strategic planning as well as reentry support for returning citizens.

Those early career experiences in education, social justice and program development illuminated the interconnectedness of inequity and the need to re-design systems and services, while developing a unique ability to build partnerships across sectors. As a result, Kate has provided consultation to organizations all over the country, like Annie E. Casey Foundation, Center for Creative Leadership, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and Living Cities. Kate was recognized as one of Public Interest Design’s Top 100 Global Designers and has shared her work through speaking engagements and workshops like Creative Mornings, the Aspen Institute, and The National Endowment for the Arts. She’s also shared her thoughts through Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fast Company, HOW Design Blog and GOOD.

Creative Outlets: Guitar, piano, ukulele, writing songs that she will only sing for herself
Causes: Diversity and inclusion, cultural equity, outdoor education

Contact Kate: kate@d-impact.org

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