About Us

We are non-profit innovators from different parts of the education ecosystem who delight in the possibilities of the future of learning. We are connected in our belief that designing models from the learner perspective can address equity gaps and skills gaps in the fast changing hiring marketplace.

Meet Our Team

Our team, Board and Advisors bring cutting edge expertise and diverse perspectives across the learner journey and across disciplines such as technology, learning science, entrepreneurship and design. The common thread is a belief that we are at a critical historical moment in redesigning the school to work pipeline. And that we can vastly improve access and outcomes.

Kathleen Delaski

Founder & President

Kathleen created Education Design Lab after 8 years on the Board of Visitors of George Mason University, where she saw the need for a separate organization to help universities and many other interested parties innovate to prepare the professional workforce. More

Laurence Roth

Partner

Larry is Chief Growth Officer at the Education Design Lab, developing and executing partnership strategies to maximize the Lab’s mission to support underserved student populations in the “Learner Revolution.” More

Marta Urquilla

Chief Program Officer

As Chief Program Officer, Marta directs the creation of new education models toward the future of work while leading efforts to promote equity and achieve impact for non-traditional learners. More

Binh Thuy Do

Director of Projects

Binh brings a unique set of design experiences, strategic planning and project management skills to the Education Design Lab. Her work engagements have spanned both K-12 and higher education. More

Don Fraser

Education Designer,
Director of 21st Century Skills Badging

Don connects higher education institutions with entrepreneurial start-ups to design new education models for student success, lifelong learning and workforce readiness. More

Brian LeDuc

Education Designer

Brian manages and executes new education model design challenges with education institutions and foundations, supporting the Lab’s knowledge management for innovations in higher education, and contributes to the design and ongoing development of the Lab’s design process, methods and experiences. More

Isaac Agbeshie-Noye

Education Designer,
HBCU Director

Isaac acts as the Lab's lead on a project with the United Negro College Fund's (UNCF) Career Pathways Initiative, which is designed to assist 14 select historically and/or predominantly Black colleges and universities to reimagine general education requirements, strengthen workforce relationships, and enhance on-campus career services to assist students in achieving purposeful employment after graduation. More

Leslie Daugherty

Seamless Transfer Pathways Coach

As the Seamless Transfer Pathways Coach, Leslie provides support and guidance to the IHE Teams selected to participate in the Seamless Transfer Pathways Design Challenge throughout the challenge year (2017-18). More

Tara Lifland

Associate Education Designer

Tara provides support for the 21st Century Skills Badging Challenge and is helping learning institutions implement badges to capture and assess smaller increments of learning than courses and degrees. More

Anne Marie Battista

Education Partnerships Associate

Anne Marie supports various development and marketing initiatives, with the goal of maximizing the Lab’s mission to support historically nontraditional and/or underserved student populations and promote equity within post secondary education. More

Alex Williams 

Design Fellow

Alexander reinvents higher education through project coordination and institutional collaboration, with a particular focus on engaging the Innovator Network and fueling the Lab’s impact engine. More

Ricardo Gonçalves

Design Fellow

Ricardo is a design strategist, knowledge broker and social entrepreneur working in the intersection of design, education and technology. He holds a MFA in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons The New School for Design (New York). More

Lexi Sun

Senior Finance Specialist

Lexi supports all aspects of Education Design Lab's finance and accounting functions. She manages budgeting, accounting, grants, financial reporting with a strategic, forward-looking viewpoint. More

The Lab relies on the expertise of a broad group of Board Members and Advisors to guide and grow our work.

What We Do

The Lab proactively identifies gaps in the education-to-work ecosystem that require next generation solutions. We put together partners, funders and institutions to tackle the path from problem definition through solution finding to adoption and evaluation. We also accept requests from individual institutions, funders, entrepreneurs or communities to facilitate related design processes.

New focus areas graphic 11.12.17

We offer a range of services and are always looking for new partners to explore the future of education and work. Learn more about our services:

Sample Design Partners

KKathleen_deLaski-Education-Design-Labathleen deLaski

Founder & President

Kathleen founded the Education Design Lab after eight years on the Board of Virginia’s largest public university, George Mason. A social entrepreneur, she has launched or co-launched four non-profits in the past two decades, all related to improving the quality of education for non-elite students. With the Lab, she saw the need for a non-profit to help learning institutions and other players design education toward the future of a fast changing world.  As the Lab has supported some 60 universities, as well as employers and high schools, in their innovation design work, Kathleen has been asked to share learnings and ideas about the broken pipeline, 21st century skills and the learner-driven revolution around the world.

In addition, Kathleen serves as the president of the deLaski Family Foundation, a leading grantmaker in education reform and new pathways to the middle class. She founded and serves as board chair for EdFuel, a national non-profit working to build a diverse talent leadership pipeline for K-12 education. Previously, Kathleen created Sallie Mae’s award-winning college access foundation, co-founded Building Hope, a charter school facilities financing non-profit and helped Michelle Rhee create StudentsFirst, a national advocacy movement to improve school options and quality.

Spending five years at America Online, she developed the first interactive tools to engage the public online in elections and the political process and helped the biggest news organizations create digital brands. She and her boss, Steve Case, were named by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics among “25 People Changing the World.” Kathleen was named by President Clinton as Chief Spokesman for the Pentagon, where she oversaw the military’s worldwide public information team. She also spent 13 years as a TV journalist, including 5 years as an ABC News Washington correspondent.

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Marta Urquilla

Chief Program Officer

Marta is Chief Program Officer at the Education Design Lab, directing the creation of new education models toward the future of work. Working with the Lab’s education designers and a network of education institutions, foundations, industry partners, ed-tech entrepreneurs, and nonprofits, Marta leads efforts to grow the Lab’s focus areas and transform design insights into scalable solutions that promote equity and achieve impact for non-traditional learners.

Marta brings 25 years of experience working across sectors to build community solutions and advance results-oriented policy approaches to improve lives. Previously, she was Deputy Director at the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University, where she helped grow and manage the center over its first five years and led work on policy innovation and systemic approaches to achieve scale of outcomes-focused solutions.

Under President Obama, Marta served as Senior Policy Advisor in the inaugural White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and as Senior Advisor for Social Innovation at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), where she designed and implemented the first Social Innovation Fund in the U.S. Government, a model adopted across federal agencies. Her work in government focused on evidence-based policy, Pay for Success, and public-private partnerships to maximize public resources and drive investment in effective solutions for social problems. She served on the advisory board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation and on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team as a member of the Technology, Innovation and Government Reform working group.

An Echoing Green Fellow, Marta is a social entrepreneur with extensive experience creating and leading initiatives at the local and national level. Her work in the social sector includes designing programs to bridge low-income youth and communities to the digital economy, to promote public health through grassroots organizing and policy change, and to build the capacity of girls and young women of color to be creative agents of change. Marta graduated from Duke University with degrees in Literature and Visual Arts. She currently serves on the advisory board of Green Schoolyards America and lives in Washington, DC.

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Michelle Batt

 

Design Challenge Lead

Michelle is a Design Challenge Lead for the Lab’s Badging Challenge. Michelle is also the President of Lead by Experience, offering strategic and tactical consulting to help leadership teams across: business, health care and education improve their customer experience.

Through her coaching, Michelle loves to “gently” break up typical functional silos to stimulate collaboration and steer change management across organizations. She integrates new, cost effective, ways to capture and understand customers’ expectations, wants and needs.

Prior to establishing her own business, Michelle held executive positions in telecommunications at MCI and NII Holdings where she held the position of Senior Director of Customer Experience. Michelle earned a Masters of Arts degree in Education: Curriculum & Instruction from Loyola College in Maryland and completed an Executive Certification in Global Leadership from Georgetown University – the McDonough School of Business.

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Don Fraser, Jr.Don_Fraser_Jr-Education-Design-Lab

Higher Ed ReDesigner

As Education Design Lab’s Higher Ed ReDesigner, Don connects higher education institutions with entrepreneurial start-ups to design new education models for student success, lifelong learning and workforce readiness. Don reimagines and disrupts higher education by designing with students, higher education and industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and others. Don leads design challenges, design challenge cohorts, and delivers other Lab projects targeting new higher ed models. He is currently leading the Badging Challenge Design Cohort.

Don is a nationally recognized expert in postsecondary planning and college success. He acutely understands of the student experience, as well as ways in which schools can develop innovative programs in order to foster student success, especially for those from historically underrepresented populations. He deeply believes in the combination of technology and interpersonal relationships as a means to improve student outcomes.

Prior to his work at the Lab, Don founded CollegeSnapps, a Washington, D.C. based education technology startup company. He also served as the Director of Education for the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), where he created educational opportunities for high school counselors and college admission professionals including Critical Components, NACAC’s first new conference in over 20 years.

Don brings his roots in psychology and school counseling and history of transforming student perspectives and needs into action to the Lab’s design thinking-driven process. Don received his B.A. in Psychology from Boston College and his Master’s of Education in School Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, where he is also working on his Doctorate in Leadership in Urban Schools. He makes a point of maintaining his connection to students, through his teaching at Johns Hopkins University and Boston University and work directly with students and families.

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Michael Meotti photo-2

Michael Meotti

Higher Ed Fellow

Mike brings extensive experience in higher education policy, innovation and management to Education Design Lab’s work.   Mike has a broad perspective on the challenges facing colleges and universities based on his past leadership positions in state government, nonprofit organizations and higher education systems. He has led transformation initiatives in all of these sectors.

Mike served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Higher Education and Executive Vice President and chief operating officer of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. 

Mike was a member of the Executive Committee and Vice Chair of the Federal Relations Committee of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO).  He led the Connecticut delegation in the National Governors Association Best Practices Academy “Complete to Compete” and in Complete College America.  Michael was also active in the state policy track of Achieving the Dream and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Coalition for the Common Core Standards.  He earned his J.D. and B.S. degrees from Georgetown University.

Prior to his work in higher education, Mike led several nonprofit organizations that provided services addressing the needs of many “first generation” and returning adult students.

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Alexander Williams

ReDesign Associate

As Education Design Lab’s ReDesign Associate, Alexander reinvents higher education through project coordination and institutional collaboration, with a particular focus on engaging the Innovator Network and fueling the Lab’s impact engine. He envisions higher education as a mechanism for empowerment, developed from working with institutional consortia in Virginia, New Jersey, Kentucky, and now DC. 

Alexander first became exposed to the intricacies of higher education while serving as a Student Representative on the Board of Visitors for George Mason University. Recognizing that the individuals involved in the education process produce the value associated with that education, Alexander took the leap to become one of those involved individuals and began a career in education. As a graduate student at Teachers College of Columbia University studying for a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration, he published research with fellow students and faculty on education leadership models and coordinated special projects for the New Jersey Consortium of Community Colleges. After graduating, Alexander moved to Louisville, Kentucky to complete a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Serving under the leadership of 55,000 Degrees, he analyzed student success data for Jefferson Community & Technical College and organized community collaboration efforts around educational persistence for the Louisville metro area.
 
A proud native of DC, Alexander brings to the Lab his passion for a higher education experience that empowers individuals personally and socially. He is excited to be involved in the questions related to skills badging, traditional model redesign, and the overall work of the Lab.

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Laurence Roth

Chief Growth Officer

Larry is Chief Growth Officer at the Education Design Lab, developing and executing partnership strategies to maximize the Lab’s mission to support underserved student populations in the “Learner Revolution.” At the Lab, he also advises both intrepreneurs and entrepreneurs designing new programs and services for the post-secondary market. Larry brings 25 years of experience leading and advising start-up/early stage companies in the digital media and education technology sectors. He was most recently at the national non-profit College Summit, where he launched and operated a national initiative designed to dramatically re-envision the organization’s program and business models.

Previously, Larry was a senior executive with Agile Mind, an early stage provider of digital mathematics programs for grades 8-12 in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his work in education, he co-founded Cinea, Inc., a digital rights management company, which was recognized as one of the top Virginia start-ups in 2004. After selling the company to Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB) he continued there as a vice president of marketing and business development. Previously, Larry worked as an executive with AOL, Viacom and MGM/UA and was one of the pioneers in the media industry’s transition to digital publishing and distribution.

Larry has been recognized for his work with young entrepreneurs in the Fairfax County Public Schools, and was a finalist for the FAST 50 award, honoring the leading entrepreneurs in the State of Virginia. He also sits on the Board of Innovate and Educate, a national organization dedicated to developing alternative employment pathways for underserved populations in the U.S and around the world. Larry holds an M.B.A. from the Andersen School at UCLA and a bachelor’s degree in Science, Technology and Society from Vassar College.

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Binh Thuy Do

Director of Projects

Binh brings a unique set of design experiences, strategic planning and project management skills to the Education Design Lab. Her work engagements have spanned both K-12 and higher education; in the latter, she has done extensive work leading strategic master planning efforts with a number of higher education institutions throughout California.

Binh uses a practical approach to everyday innovation and employs the Lab’s design process, methods and tools with an eye toward expanding the range of the possible while remaining grounded in the real world constraints. Solid innovation requires both generating new ways of responding to unmet human needs and operating model innovation based on understanding how higher education institutions work. Binh excels at weaving this balance into the Lab’s work.

Binh is deeply passionate about reimagining education to meet the needs of all stakeholders. Her interest in learning innovation extends to her own educational career: she received her MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University; a leading program that emphasized extensive online team collaboration on case study work, mirroring the experience of those on campus.

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Ricardo Goncalves

Designer In Residence

Ricardo is a design strategist, knowledge broker and social entrepreneur working in the intersection of design, education and technology. He holds a MFA in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons The New School for Design (New York). His graduation thesis project, entitled Flip it Forward, explored the future of learning in K-12 education through design in contexts as diverse as India, The U.S. and China. Flip it Forward has been awarded by The New School and selected by the Unreasonable Institute as an innovative approach to re-imagining education. 

Ricardo’s work is an attempt to collaboratively respond to pressing social changes—moving from problem-solving into dreaming, imagining and co-creative spaces. He believes that in order to scale positive social change, organizations are required to shift their routines, cultures and ways of working. 

Core topics of expertise: knowledge dissemination (capacity building, networks); design-thinking; design of learning environments; open innovation; systems thinking; social-emotional learning, and social innovation. For further information about his work: www.ricardo-dutra.com.

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Brian LeDuc

Education Designer

As an Education Designer, Brian manages and executes new education model design challenges with education institutions and foundations, supporting the Lab’s knowledge management for innovations in higher education, and contributes to the design and ongoing development of the Lab’s design process, methods and experiences.

With students at the center, Brian utilizes his background in psychology, student development, and
experience across a variety of educational contexts to explore innovative education models alongside a wide range of stakeholders.

Prior to joining the lab, Brian led operations for a coding bootcamp, establishing the campus operations in its’ permanent location, expanding program offerings, and growing its’ enrollment pipeline while deepening its’ roots in the DC community. Previously, Brian supported institutions emergence into national leaders in the area of student success at EAB, guiding project management for advising technologies, implementation of student success best practices, and analysis of historic graduation trends to identify areas of opportunity in support of institutional goals. Working on campus at several universities in first year programs, orientation, residence life, and leadership education, Brian draws from a breadth of institutional contexts and perspectives on campus and beyond with volunteer experiences across NASPA, ACPA, and NACA.

To maintain his engagement with students, Brian serves as a Lead Facilitator for the Kiwanis International Key Leader program designed to enhance leadership skills and personal awareness through weekend retreats for high school students. Brian earned his Psychology degree from Roger Williams University, where he continues to serve on the Alumni Board, and his Masters from Texas A&M University in Educational Administration while serving as a member of the Board of Directors to the National Association for Campus Activities.

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Anne Marie Battista 

Education Partnerships Associate

As Education Partnerships Associate, Anne Marie supports various development and marketing initiatives, with the goal of maximizing the Lab’s mission to support historically nontraditional and/or underserved student populations and promote equity within post secondary education. She also assists with various design challenges.

Prior to her work at the Lab, Anne Marie participated in a full-time service year, co-teaching at Shalom High School, an alternative public high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While in grad school, she served in the role of Marketing and Fund Development Specialist at Artists Working in Education, an arts education nonprofit also based in Milwaukee.

Anne Marie earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Fine Arts (dual major) from Mount St. Mary’s University and a master’s degree in Educational Policy and Foundations from Marquette University, where her research interests focused on racial equity and trauma informed care. Anne Marie is an aluma of the Trinity Fellows Program at Marquette, a social justice oriented scholarship program funded by the Burke Foundation.

 

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Tara Lifland 

Design Associate

As an Associate Education Designer, Tara provides support for the 21st Century Skills Badging Challenge and is helping learning institutions implement badges to capture and assess smaller increments of learning than courses and degrees. Tara brings to the lab an institutional perspective, after working as an Instructional Designer for the George Washington University’s eDesign Shop. In addition to developing stunning online courses, Tara worked with a team of librarians to found GW’s Open Textbook Initiative. She first became interested in the #GoOpen movement in her time working with the Saylor Foundation and the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education.

Her work with open education continues as an OER Research Fellow with the Open Education Group. Her research looks at the impact of connected learning, and measures undergraduate students perceptions and attitudes toward sharing and learning in the open.

Tara also serves as a vice-chair of UPCEA’s eDesign collaborative, a group of instructional designers and multimedia professionals who get together to share innovative practices in online learning.

Tara’s higher education experience began as an undergrad in Tel-Aviv, where she was thrust into the booming startup life. Her capstone research was about the future of work and how millennials learn which led her to pursue a master’s in Educational Leadership & Technology at GWU.

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Isaac Agbeshie-Noye

Education Designer, HBCU Director

As Education Designer, Isaac acts as the Lab’s Director on a project with the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Career Pathways Initiative, which is designed to assist 14 select historically and/or predominantly Black colleges and universities to reimagine general education requirements, strengthen workforce relationships, and enhance on-campus career services to assist students in achieving purposeful employment after graduation. He also contributes to other projects that implement design thinking within higher education.

Prior to joining the Lab, Isaac most recently served as the director of orientation and family programs at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. In this role, he co-led the university’s effort to redesign the student initiation experience, facilitated the successful integration of many technology platforms to improve service delivery across the department’s programs, advocated for the orientation and transition needs of non-traditional student populations, and facilitated stronger cross-functional collaboration between student and academic affairs practitioners.

In addition to his work in orientation and family programs, Isaac has professional expertise in student activities, career services, disability services, retention programs, diversity and inclusion education, housing and residence life, student conduct, and case management. Since 2012, he has also served as an instructor for the student development courses, where he explores his passions for easing student transitions to and through college.

Isaac earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in higher education administration from George Washington University. He is a doctoral candidate in higher education administration at George Washington University – his research interests focus on branding and organizational culture at historically Black colleges and universities.

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Leslie Daugherty

Seamless Transfer Pathways Coach

Leslie began her higher education career working as an admission counselor at a small four-year private liberal arts University. In this role, she saw an immediate need to build better pathways for transfer students transitioning from the two-year to the four-year institution. Leslie transitioned to the world of academic advising at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where she helped create academic maps and curricular plans for students, focusing on how to increase communication between faculty at the two and four-year institutions to ease the overall transfer experience. She expanded this work while serving as the Transfer Coordinator at SIUE. In this role, she worked with community colleges to create seamless 2+2 and dual admission programs, which included placing and integrating full-time SIUE advisors on the community college campus. She also worked directly on the Department ofLabor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant. Her work on this grant included bridging the gap between technical associate degrees and the paths to baccalaureate degree attainment.

Leslie has a Master’s degree in Educational Studies and is working on her doctorate in Higher Education Leadership focusing her research on student perception to reverse transfer initiatives, specifically transfer students who left the four-year institution before earning a degree.

As the Seamless Transfer Pathways Coach, Leslie provides support and guidance to the IHE Teams selected to participate in the Seamless Transfer Pathways Design Challenge throughout the challenge year (2017-18). Leslie will serve as a thought-partner, provocateur and motivator throughout the year. She is excited to work the partneringIHE Teamsin learning and implementing design thinking to help meet and exceed the goals of the project and the needs of the transfer student population.

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Lexi Sun

Senior Finance Specialist

Lexi supports all aspects of Education Design Lab’s finance and accounting functions. She manages budgeting, accounting, grants, financial reporting with a strategic, forward-looking viewpoint. By alleviating the demands of the financial, operational, and compliance aspects of running an education nonprofit, Lexi helps the Lab leaders focus their finite time on education mission achievement.
 
Lexi is a senior finance specialist at EdOps, where she also works as an outsourced CFO for two public charter schools in DC, and is involved with other strategic consulting projects for non-profit organizations in DC and CA, including facility financing, risk management, financial analysis, etc.
 
Lexi first involved her finance background with education nonprofits since 2015. She passed all three levels of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and is working towards her CPA license. Lexi holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, China and a Masters of Finance from the University of Maryland Smith School of Business.
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