As the Lab’s Senior Vice President, Design + Innovation, Don is responsible for measuring and driving innovation and emerging programs at the Lab, as well as building the Lab’s reputation as a leader in equity-based, human-centered field testing and the design of scalable postsecondary and workforce solutions. Don is instrumental in identifying strategic partners to amplify the Lab’s design work and associated products and building employer relationships. In addition, he is responsible for the Lab’s internship program and Employer Brain Trust working group.
Don’s portfolio includes Design Practice and Programs, Communications and Brand, and People and Culture. He leads the Lab Way — our commitment to excellence in how we do what we do and show up internally as colleagues and externally for our partners. Don is also a thought and accountability partner for the Lab’s education designers, helping them meet their goals and push innovation and architecture in our design processes. He is also a strategic partner to the Lab’s Digital Transformation Team, specifically the Lab’s vsbl platform to deliver their dynamic 21st century skills framework and digital badges, which he designed in his previous role at the Lab.
Don is a nationally recognized expert in postsecondary planning and college success. He has an acute understanding of the learner experience, as well as ways in which schools across the K-16 spectrum can develop innovative programs in order to foster learner success and increase economic mobility, especially for those from historically underrepresented populations. He believes deeply in the combination of technology and interpersonal relationships as a means to improve learner 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 began his work as a school counselor and brings his roots in psychology and history of transforming student perspectives to the Lab’s innovation and design practices.