Design Strategist Resume Example

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Design Strategist Resume Example (Text version)

Gregg Williams Ph.D.

Address: Festung Hohensalzburg 99, 991 19, Salzburg, Austria
Date of birth: 1998-18-09
Email address:
Phone number: +999 999 999


I am a design researcher specializing in the application of ethnography to interpret human behavior. My primary interests lie at the intersection of ethnography, design research, strategy, and foresight.

An experienced fieldworker, I excel at communicating complex ideas to diverse audiences, synthesizing data, and managing projects. I have extensive experience working in both highly-regulated fields as well as challenging, non-permissive environments.


Design Research: able to design and execute B2B and consumer research that generates insights and knowledge for stakeholders.

  • Skilled communicator: able to generate buy-in and communicate with a variety of audiences.
  • Methods: card sorting, systems mapping, journey maps, contextual inquiry, exploratory field studies, surveys, focus groups, longitudinal studies, recruiting, and interviews (remote and in-person).

Futures and Foresight: wide geographic and functional skill in helping stakeholders understand the economic, political, and technological drivers of change that will impact the world in the future.

  • Methods: trends analysis, scenario planning, horizon scanning, backcasting, Delphi method, open-source analysis, ethnographic experiential futures.


  • Ethnography: able to establish trust and rapport with a variety of interlocutors in high-stress, non-permissive environments.
  • Social Science theory: able to give context to the ways in which social theory informs both interactions as well as material, social, and symbolic exchanges.
  • Able to generate knowledge and insights of value to specialized and general audiences.
  • Fieldwork: Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Haiti, Ethiopia, Uganda, Albania, Kosovo.
  • Subject Matter Expert: US European Command (EUCOM), NSF, CRDF Global, Ergo Global Intelligence, expert witness for asylum claims, BBC, Die Welt


2018 - present, Design Strategist, Fannie Mae
  • I conduct design research and bring service design methods to Fannie Mae's Customer Experience Design (CXD) team.
  • My research has informed product design, corporate strategy, and Fannie Mae's approach to the FHFA requirements under the Housing and Economic Reform Act's Duty to Serve Rule.
  • Conduct a variety of trainings on design thinking and social science theories as they relate to CXD's research needs.
2016 - 2018, Senior Futures Advisor and AAAS Fellow, US Agency for International Development
  • My insights led to improvements in several of USAID's 5-year strategic plans and to Agency-wide policy on strategy, foresight, and planning.
  • Used a variety of design research methods to conduct foresight scans and develop scenario plans for USAID Missions with a combined budget of > $1.5 billion.
2016, Consultant, Development Alternatives, Inc.
  • Scenario planning and foresight analysis for USAID/Ukraine.
  • Designed and facilitated a collaborative scenario-planning workshop in Kyiv.
2013 - 2016, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Anthropology
  • Designed and taught seminars on ethnographic methods, Europe & Eurasia, material culture, and social theory.
  • Supervised research theses and fieldwork.
2012 - 2013, Mellon Postdoctorial Fellow, American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • Taught seminars in a ENG-RU environment.
  • Supervised field research projects and mentored students on disciplinary ethics, ethnographic methods, and research design.
  • Conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Bishkek on ethnic relations, trade, and statehood.


2017, Cooper Professional Education

Applied UX Design Intensive

2012, Cornell University

Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology

2004, University of Chicago

MA in the Social Sciences

2002, Oberlin College

BA in Anthropology (honors) and German


Qualitative Research
Service Design
Usability Testing
User Research
Ethnography of Tech
Card Sorting
Contextual Inquiry
Focus Groups
Journey Maps
Diary studies
Quantitative Research
Systems Mapping
Research Design
Trends Analysis
Open-source Analysis


Survey Monkey


11/2017, Scenarios Beyond the Design Cycle, Cooper Journal
09/2017, The Ethnographer's Toolkit and UX, Cooper Journal
Peer Reviewed, Political and Legal Anthropology Review, American Ethnologist, Anthropology Today, Global Crime
Position Overview:

Design Strategist

Design Strategists are the people who can take a business idea, transform it into a design idea, and vice versa. To do that, they need diverse backgrounds, as understanding diverse mindsets or visions requires broad general knowledge. They are actively involved in the beginning of the process of project creation. A crucial aspect of their work here is researching user attitudes. To have a successful product, the company has to know what consumers respond to and how they respond to it. In order to create the visual assets which, support this research, they work closely with the Communication Designer.

Company Overview:
Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae is a leading provider of financing for a mortgage lender in the United States. This service is essential for making homeownership and affordable rental housing something millions of Americans can realistically imagine. The company has a great track record regarding its social workplace policies, making it an Equal Opportunity Employer. For a firm that focuses on financial services, it provides its employers great benefits and pension plans. Workers also praise the good work/life balance that comes with working here and stress that salaries are fair in spite of being able to work less of they want to. The financial industry is still quite saturated however, so do not expect to rise through the ranks too quickly.

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How to write your own Design Strategist resume?

1. Showcase your research-gathering capabilities

Since most of Design Strategists' duties involve researching user attitudes for the purpose of composing a business strategy, it is crucial these individuals know how to actually conduct this research – be it qualitative or quantitative.

To prove that you can indeed fulfill these expectations, write down all the research methods you could use to come up with a comprehensive overview of user attitudes towards the launch of a new project. A helpful addition to this demonstration could also be any academic publications, with your name on them, that did require you to utilize some of those research methods. Anything like this is tangible evidence of you having and using your research abilities effectively.

Design Strategist Toolkit Example

  • "Ethnography"

  • "Qualitative Research"

  • "Service Design"

  • "Usability Testing"

2. Describe how your work contributed to successful outcomes

The fact that you were able to produce something with your research cannot on its own attest to the fact that it was actually useful to anyone. That can only be done by describing a scenario in which your research contributions led to some company success.

If you can, include these kinds of descriptions in the section where you list previous work experience. Simply structure them from the point at which you were assigned to research some topic, and how from that, the company experiences either a boost in sales, higher product success, etc. This will only strengthen your resume, as the reader may be more prone to view your experience not solely as academically relevant, but also professionally.

3. Maintain clarity throughout the resume sections

Making a resume that is focused on the specific outcomes of the use of your abilities can be quite a daunting task.

You have to make sure that they relate to the field in which you seek the position and that they actually support the claim that you have strong skills in research.

Just getting all that done can mean that you will become sick of describing the examples you have thought of. That can result in your descriptions becoming hard to follow, unnecessarily long and overdone with jargon that readers may not understand. Make sure that when you’ve found what you want to paint a picture of, have an idea of how the picture will be painted. Otherwise, what you are trying to say can be lost.

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