Esther Y. Kang is currently an independent human-centered design strategist and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In this capacity, she partners with teams across sectors and advises leaders at local and state levels to design resident-centered policies and user-friendly services. Esther recently kicked-off the first human-centered design project in Congress with a team of four design researchers as part of a new effort under The OpenGov Foundation. Recent collaborators include What Works Cities’ Results for America, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the W.O.W. Project.
Previously, Esther served a one-year term as the inaugural Designer-in-Residence at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) under the Obama administration. As part of her role, she applied human-centered design to several internal projects focusing on organizational and programmatic design and implementation. Esther has also worked in philanthropy, public administration, and arts management creating community-centric programs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. She has served on advisory councils and steering committees of national and regional nonprofit organizations, in addition to being Adjunct Faculty at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Esther received her M.A. in social design from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and her B.F.A. in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Esther is currently based in Brooklyn, NY, and has spent time in California, Texas, Illinois, and Maryland along with a gap year overseas.