Sessions and Speakers

We’re particularly excited about the speaker series for 2018.  Follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest details we’ll continue to announce in coming weeks—including ticket and registration information.


Andrae Rose

Andrae Rose is an award-winning graphic and web designer with 10 years of diverse experience across the public and private sector, creating digital solutions that drive client success. His creative contributions draw upon his varied expertise from UX design and information architecture, to concept creation and design execution, to project management and relationship building. He has created branding, marketing, and promotional collateral for leading firms and a range of clients including the UNGC, NIH/NCI, Groff Creative, MasterCard, MyEyeDr., National Geographic, Pew Research Center, the IMF, and the World Bank. Andrae received a BFA in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Washington and an MA in Digital Communication from Johns Hopkins University.  


Andrew Lovett-Barron

Andrew Lovett-Barron is a design leader and currently holds a fellowship with the New America public interest tech program. He was the first product designer on the US Digital Service (USDS) team at the Department of Defense (DOD) under President Obama, and was a Principal Designer and Product Manager at IDEO working with clients like Planned Parenthood, CISCO, Ford Smart Mobility, and IKEA. He founded Pedal Pedal Club in DC and Relay Studio in Toronto.


Catharine Robertson

Catharine has spent 20+ years architecting information for organizations including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Legg Mason, the American Psychological Association, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and many others. She is currently working to establish enterprise UX and DesignOps practices for the Centers for Clinical Standards and Quality at CMS. Catharine founded the Baltimore UX Meetup, and helped establish and currently teaches in MICA’s User Experience graduate curriculum. Her kitchen shelves have a solid, research-backed information architecture.


Christine Armstrong

Christine is an award-winning Creative Manager with over 20 years of multimedia design experience including user interface and user experience design, brand and design strategy, as well as advertising campaigns. She has worked with the government and high-profile corporations, as well as start-ups and non-profit organizations. Christine leads the design team at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Digital Communications Division to support the design and graphics for web sites, social media engagement, and other materials for HHS’ offices and staff divisions, as well as priority topics and White House initiatives, including the reimagining of She is passionate about working with clients to elevate and transcend their overall brand and user experience.


Courtney Eimerman-Wallace

Courtney Eimerman-Wallace is the Director of Technology at Color Of Change. She prides herself on being a Technical User Experience(UX) leader who’s dedicated to using technology to improve access and create opportunities for underrepresented communities. Before coming to Color Of Change, she was a UX Engineering Lead at the United States Digital Service team at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she lead a multi-disciplined UX engineering team in product development efforts, with a focus on brand consistency, and diversity and inclusion through accessibility. Prior to the U.S. Digital Service, Courtney spent several years in civic tech, building applications that help people reach voters and get people involved in the political process. Campaigns and Elections Magazine named Courtney a “2015 Rising Star”, which only fueled her flame for public service.


Gina Assaf

Combining technology, design and international development, Gina Assaf leads digital design for SoukTel Digital Solutions, a company that designs and develops solutions for the humanitarian aid sector. She has worked with the UN and USAID, and their implementers, designing solutions that provide access of information digitally to project staff and to communities with low literacy and novice technology usage. She has 15+ years of experience working in variety of sectors throughout the U.S, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, and brings a deep understanding of the various design and research methods required during all phases of the design process.

Previously, Gina served as a Product and User Experience Design Manager at Creative Associates, an Interaction Designer at San Francisco media startup Prismatic, and as a Software Engineer at financial services leader Intuit. She also has experience with software engineering and expertise in Agile methodology with a Scrum master certification.


Jo Golden

 Jo Golden combines strategy, story, sense-making, and Design Thinking methods to tackle challenging problems in business and the community. She has a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution focused on conflict and identity issues surrounding cultural and technological change. Jo also hosts the Designing Experiences podcast and co-leads the OpenIDEO DC Chapter.


Kayenda Johnson

Before joining the US Digital Service’s team at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Kayenda was a consultant, providing both user research and user-centered design services to a variety of federal agencies such as Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service.  Kayenda is currently the leading user research efforts for the design of CMS’ Quality Payment Program website and serving as human-centered design advocate within the broader agency. Creating great user experiences using in-depth user studies and contextual inquiry, are among her personal passions. Beyond her passion for creating engaging user experiences for software applications, Kayenda also loves mentoring middle and high school girls toward strong character development and academic success.


Laura Hermann

Laura is a partner at Potomac Communications Group, focusing on strategic communications and stakeholder engagement. The Chicago Justice Project represents her long evolving commitment to science, technology and social justice issues. Laura has developed education programs on issues ranging from neighborhood safety, emergency preparedness and energy efficiency. She holds a master’s of science from Northwestern University and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate at Loyola University Chicago.


Lisa Goldberg

Lisa is an Associate Creative Director of Experience Design. Her goal is to make the world a more humane place and inspire UX teams to do the same. She has more than 20 years of experience working with government and nonprofit clients. Currently she leads the UX team for ELIS, the electronic immigration benefits system at the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service. She organizes and speaks at many design events in the DC area. ​


Marcy Jacobs

Marcy is a user advocate, researcher and strategist currently leading the U. S. Digital Service team at the Department of Veterans Affairs, improving access to benefits and services for Veterans. As a proven leader, Marcy focuses on user needs and business value to align resources, build empathy and create simple and intuitive digital experiences. At the USDS, Marcy lead the Design Practice and lead work at the Department of Justice and IRS and supported efforts at State, DoD and CMS.


Ren Pope

Ren Pope is the chief IA at Industrial Medium Software based out of Washington DC. He has over 20 years of leadership and vision in the information science field. Ren has held various interesting positions both in and out of the UX career field these include speech and policy writing, modeling and simulation, and designing knowledge management systems. Ren focuses his passion for information sciences, where he designs content management systems. He has studied and strives to perfect the use of taxonomies, ontologies, concept maps as well as overall information modeling to ensure the intent of design endures in the product. Ren enjoys writing and speaking about the theory and practice of the information sciences; and in his free time, he likes running around in the out outdoors, pushing buttons and turning knobs to make music, and throwing things into barrels to age them.


Stephanie Brown

Steph has worked for 15 years in the performance improvement sector introducing graphic facilitation and collaboration design to government executives and teams from the White House to the grassroots of change. Both visual artist and facilitator, Steph supports organizations by designing experiences that optimize the power of people in conversation together. This can range from live hand-drawn murals to document collective memories, to facilitating and hosting conversation cafés to build organizational understanding, to leading design innovation sprints that transform ideas into action.


Suzanne Chapman

Suzanne Chapman is a User Experience Lead at the United States Digital Service team at the Department of Veterans Affairs where she oversees user research, content, and design for over 25 products. Suzanne is a UX Generalist who loves all aspects of UX but is especially passionate about UX strategy, inclusive design, and untangling any kind of mess/bringing order to chaos. Prior to working in government, Suzanne spent 10 years in higher education improving large access systems and proselytizing about all things UX.


Wendy A F G Stengel

Wendy A F G Stengel is a seasoned IA/UX professional, with a background in electronic and print publishing, and a hefty portfolio of information architecture and user experience projects. She is passionate about delivering the right content at the right time, and helping users accomplish what they need, whether the reader is navigating government bureaucracies or looking for local volunteer opportunities. Wendy lives and works in Washington, DC.


Whitney Quesenbery

Whitney combines a fascination with people and an obsession to communicate clearly with her goal of bringing user research insights to designing products where people matter.” She’s written three books on the subject – Storytelling for User Experience and A Web for Everyone (Rosenfeld Media) and Global UX (MKP/Elsevier) – to help practitioners keep users in mind throughout the creative process. She has worked with organizations like the National Cancer Institute, eBay, IEEE, Amtrak, and The Open University helping them develop usable and accessible web sites and applications. 

She’s also passionate about improving the way government communicates with citizens. She is the co-director of the Center for Civic Design, which works with election officials on usability and design of ballots, voter guides, and other election materials. She and Dana Chisnell teach the first course on Election Design for the University of Minnesota Certificate in Election Administration.