Senior Design Strategist

YLabs is seeking a Senior Design Strategist to take a leadership role on our design team. You will lead a multidisciplinary team to design creative, impactful solutions to improve young people’s health and economic opportunity globally. You will use your expertise in service design and human-centered design to lead projects, facilitate workshops, and build capacity for your team members, our partners, and young people. You will collaborate with communities and partners to understand community perspectives, local systems, and how to design for scale. You will design, build and test prototypes, and support our partners to implement successful solutions.

You are:

  • Looking for a new challenge in a leadership role, with the opportunity to grow and manage a team in a new non-profit studio

  • Able to work in a fast-paced, start-up environment

  • Comfortable mentoring and guiding junior design team members

  • A self-starter, able to work both independently as well as collaboratively

  • Motivated by designing exceptional solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing young people

  • Adept at putting yourself in other's shoes and designing services for anyone from a religious leader in Niger to a young girl in El Salvador

  • Curious, humble, and empathetic, fascinated by others’ lives, loves, and perspectives

  • Passionate about social impact, global health, and youth

  • Excited about international travel and skillful in navigating different cultural and geographic contexts

  • Able to understand the big picture and small details

  • Master problem solver and comfortable with ambiguity

  • Able to articulate ideas, communicate proactively, and envision concepts and ideas to team members, partners, and funders

  • A natural collaborator who understands how to build strong relationships with our clients, partners, and donors

You have:

  • Eight years + of experience in a relevant design discipline (service design, user experience design, design strategy)

  • Expertise in human-centered design / design thinking

  • Experience and passion for teaching, coaching and facilitating in human-centered design / design thinking methods and mindsets

  • Skilled and comfortable leading user research, no matter the context or beneficiary

  • Adept at planning and leading prototyping of concepts

  • Experience designing and/or implementing solutions in resource-constrained environments

  • Experience leading teams to deliver to tight deadlines, with the ability to maintain high design standards in a fast-paced environment

  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills with colleagues, clients, and beneficiaries

  • Worked or lived in Sub-Saharan Africa or Asia

  • Experience working on health, education or employment programs


  • Strong storytelling skills; able to take complex stories and datasets and turn them into compelling narratives for multiple audiences

  • Analysis of quantitative data, experience designing data collection tools (qualitative or qualitative)


This role is based in Berkeley, CA and involves 40% international travel. All costs related to international travel and field work are covered. Applicants must be legally able to work and live in the US.

To apply, send a resume, cover letter and link to your portfolio to All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.