At YLabs we bring together the science of adolescent development, behavioral economics, and human-centered design to build and test programs that can enhance the unique potential of adolescents. We founded YLabs in 2014 at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. We started as residents at the Harvard Innovation Lab and have grown into a global team of designers and researchers. If you want to join us as we build YLabs, please look at our current opportunities and contact us. We would love to hear from you.
MEET OUR TEAM
Director of programs
As a founder of YLabs, Rebecca Hope is a doctor and design thinker catalyzing change for young people, with young people. Trained as an adolescent physician, she has ten years of experience designing and evaluating programs for young people around the globe. As Director of Programs, she supports our design teams to develop global solutions that bring measurable improvement to young people’s lives. Rebecca holds degrees in medicine, international health, pediatrics and public health from Harvard, University College London and the University of Leeds.
Director of Strategy
As a founder of YLabs, Majdi is a physician and Visiting Faculty at Boston Children's Hospital. He previously worked for the World Health Organization developing guidelines to incrase adolescent access to sexual and reproductive health services. Majdi currently leads the YBank project for young people living with HIV in Rwanda.
Director of Operations
As a founder of YLabs, Shannon is an economist, specializing in health policy, financing, and economic evaluation. She currently works for the Ontario government implementing funding reform to support improved models of care for multiple chronic conditions. At YLabs, she leads operations and provides expertise on the evaluation and cost-effectiveness of our designs.
Theo Gibbs works at the intersection of human-centered design and systems thinking. She conducts user research, builds and tests prototypes, and guides design strategy for multiple YLabs projects. Theo is also a lecturer in the Stanford Design School where she co-teaches a course on design methods for complex social-environmental challenges. She holds a M.S. and B.A. from Stanford University.
Nicole is a public health specialist who brings extensive experience leading the design and implementation of global adolescent programming focused on behavioral and social norm change. Nicole's areas of expertise include sexual and reproductive health, HIV, and digital health. Nicole has a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Sarah is a social designer and researcher, who specializes in applying community- and human-centered design to local and global development. She has worked with organizations like the World Bank, Population Services International, the International Rescue Committee, and Open Society Foundations, on topics ranging from financial inclusion and consumer protection, to reproductive health, and civil and human rights.
As a design researcher at YLabs, Megan plans and conducts qualitative and quantitative research to inform the design of youth-centered programs to improve young people’s health and livelihoods. She received her Masters in Public Health at UC Berkeley, specializing in maternal and child health with an emphasis on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and global development. She works in mixed methods research, study design, and program evaluation.
Senior Product DEsigner
Caroline is a product designer and researcher who is passionate about healthcare and youth-centered education. At YLabs, she conducts design research to understand user needs, and co-designs products and services with youth. She has been working at the intersection of digital product design, design research, and data since 2010. Caroline considers supporting youth development to be her life’s work; she first began working with young people when she was 14 and is currently a nature connection mentor for girls. She has a master’s degree in IT product design from University of Southern Denmark.
Senior Business Designer
Tiffany is a business designer specializing in products and services which are difficult to fit into traditional, money-based value paradigms. She provides marketing, strategy, and finance expertise and helps make sure YLabs uses a financially-sustainable approach to international design work. Tiffany studied human computer interaction prior receiving her MBA. She has worked as a consultant for major media conglomerates, governments and legislative bodies, tech start-ups, venture capital firms, artists, scientists, and small businesses as well as a variety of NGOs from large donors to local implementing partners.
Jordan is an epidemiologist by training with a specific interest in reproductive health. She spent the last year in Tanzania working as a research fellow with Population Services International to increase access to modern contraceptive methods. Previously, Jordan conducted behavioral health research for the US Department of Defense and consulted for Project Concern International on their prenatal care programs in US-Mexico border communities. Jordan holds a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from Columbia University and bachelor's degrees in psychology and public health from UC Berkeley.
Anna received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked as a mechanical designer before getting her Masters in Business Administration. She has spent time in the U.S. Peace Corps teaching in rural Ghana and has focused on non-profit development and helping non-profits be financially sustainable. At YLabs Anna provides financial management across our global projects.
Andrea Lacorazza is a communication designer specializing in the social sector. She is trained at the California College of the Arts. Her previous design experience includes designing a brand for a youth empowerment program in Guatemala City schools, storytelling with immigrant farm workers in Parlier California, and supporting youth-centered reproductive health projects with IDEO.org. Andrea works across projects providing input to research planning and data collection, turning findings into prototypes, and leading our branding strategy.
Amara has a background in alternative medicine with a focus on traditional medicines, nutrition, and wellness counseling. She has a degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on social justice. She has a passion for health and healing on an individual, community, and global level. At YLabs, Amara contributes to team wellness, office management, communications, support, coordination, planning, and recruitment to keep our team healthy and happy.
Senior research associate
Carolyne is a public health researcher and analyst with 10 years' experience supporting donor-funded programs and for-profit organizations. She has worked in Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria and Senegal across a wide range of practice areas including vaccines, NCDs, SRH, and HIV. Carolyne holds a Master of Social Health in medical anthropology from the University of Melbourne. She is founder and lead consultant at Measure Associates and leads in-country operations for YLabs design research activities in Kenya.
Director of Marketing & CoMmuniCations
Lauryn has a background in marketing and strategic communication, and is excited to be putting her skills to work in the world of public health. She was a 2017 Student Fellow with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and wrote about the impacts of Zika on sexual and reproductive health education in El Salvador. She has a Master of Public Health from Boston University, and a bachelor's degree in peace and conflict studies and journalism from Chapman University.
research associate, SRH
Ankita is a sexuality education trainer and leader in adolescent SRH and rights, honored as a 120 under 40 Family Planning Leader in 2016. She was awarded as Youth Champions Initiative fellowship with the Public Health Institute’s RiseUp program and ran a project with youth leaders on SRHR with a focus on their access to Youth Friendly SRH services by using digital storytelling tool. She has also worked on the issue of Early and Forced Marriage in Delhi-NCR.
Senior research associate, Mental Health
Manasi has a doctorate from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her current research focuses on trauma and mental health outcomes in post-war Liberia and Sierra Leone, and psychosocial interventions for adolescents living with HIV in Rwanda.
research associate, HIV/Aids
Trena Mukherjee is a DrPH candidate in Epidemiology at Columbia University. She has 5 years of experience with HIV research in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Trena received an MPH from the Yale School of Public Health, and completed a Fulbright to evaluate a hepatitis C intervention for people who use drugs, and a health needs assessment for urban refugees in Malaysia. Her interests are in implementation science, cost effectiveness and evaluation of infectious disease and reproductive health programs in resource-constrained settings.
Katherine "Rin" Heflin has almost a decade of experience with health and human services and policy interventions to address social determinants of health for disadvantaged communities including LGBTQ populations and survivors of domestic violence. She has also worked for several years at nonprofits educating teens about sexual health. She holds a Master of Science from the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in women, gender, and health, and a bachelor's degree from Stanford.
User Experience designer
Varhsine is a graduate student at the I School at UC Berkeley with a focus on human-computer interaction and UX. She is a strong believer in improving healthcare in rural India, where she worked during her undergrad to develop a Smart Heart Monitor that was affordable and easy to use. Since then, she has worked for three years in various product roles conducting user research, usability tests, and developing visual designs for various products. At YLabs, Varshine is supporting the preparation of high-fidelity digital education tool prototypes for testing in Rwanda.
Mireille Umutoni Sekamana
Mireille is a youth designer and youth champion from Rwanda. With her background as a debater and attending various trainings on adolescent sexual reproductive health, she raises her voice to educate fellow youth about SRHR and participate into various activities that aim at educating young people about their rights regarding SRH. She is currently helping in content development for a youth-centered digital platform in Rwanda. She has an Associate Degree in Information Systems from Akilah Institute.
Aditi is a graduate student specializing in UI/UX design at Academy of Art University. She brings communication design experience, having previously worked as an art director in advertising on consumer brands and social programs. At YLabs, she is working on UI design for a youth-centered digital education tool in Rwanda.
Brandon Venerable is currently completing his MPA at San Francisco State University, specializing in projected coordination and process improvement. His passion for public health and social justice stems from his own experiences navigating the health system as a young person, and he strongly believes in the importance of equipping underserved populations with the tools to not only survive but thrive. His previous work experiences focused on LGBTQ rights, HIV health and nutrition. At YLabs, he manages complex, multi-year projects, supports internal operations, and brings his critical and creative flair to everything he touches.