Ariel Kennan draws upon her experience in multidisciplinary design and technology to lead research, concept development, and design, collaborating closely with design teams, vendors, and partners. She has created digital strategy and policy, mobile applications, websites, and media installations with a wide variety of cultural, corporate, and government partners. Her projects have won numerous awards, including the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival Award for Transmedia. Ariel currently serves the City of New York as Director, Design and Product at the Center for Economic Opportunity at the Mayor’s Office of Operations, where she is improving service delivery and advancing equity and opportunity for all New Yorkers. She is an alumna of Parsons School of Design and has held fellowships with Code for America and the Center for Urban Pedagogy.


    New York City Mayor’s Office · New York, NY · September 2014 – Present
    Director, Design and Product, Center for Economic Opportunity

      Code for America · San Francisco, CA · January 2013 – November 2013
      Paired with the governments of Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri to build new civic software applications and enhance technology policy, government innovation, and community organizing.

      • Consulted city governments regarding digital innovation including open data policy and standards, data portals, and technology best practices which led to new legislation being passed, creation of innovation roles, and events within city hall.
      • Created a new application for small business digital literacy,
      • Spoke publicly on behalf of Code for America and presented, including at community events, within city hall, and in press interviews.
      • Organized events including community roundtables, hackathon, and app launch.
      • Led communication and documentation including presentation design and scripting, blog posts, and mid-year and end of year reports.
      • Co-founded a local volunteer group for civic technology.

      Center for Urban Pedagogy · New York, NY · August 2012 – June 2013
      Public Access Design Fellow
      Year long series of conversations and mentorship with a group of designers focused on social and civic design.

      ESI Design · New York, NY · January 2008 – December 2012
      Interaction and Experience Designer, Design Lead
      Promoted from an intern to lead designer on creative teams and overseeing production on key projects within the studio.

      • Collaborated with and led creative teams in research, concept development, design, and production of experiential environments for cultural and corporate clients.
      • Conducted client pitches and presentations with principal designer.
      • Created project deliverable documents, presentations, and production budgets.

      Clients included: Barclays, Beacon Capital Partners, Comcast, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate, General Electric, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, News Corporation, Octave Living, Pfizer, Trust for the National Mall, Rodale

      Local Projects · New York, NY · September – December 2007
      Assisted in research, design, and production of museum-based projects.

      Museo di Storia della Scienza · Florence, Italy · October – December 2006
      Participated in museum education activities and created a visitor guidebook.


      Parsons School of Design, New York, NY,  Bachelor of Fine Arts in Integrated Design, 2008.

      Lorenzo de’Medici · Florence, Italy· September – December 2006
      Coursework includes Photography, Italian Language, Museum Studies


      Tribeca Film Festival, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Award for Transmedia, 2013

      Communicator Awards, Award of Distinction Winner – Interactive Multimedia, 2011

      SXSW Interactive Awards, Kiosk and Installation Finalist, 2011

      SXSW Interactive Web Awards, Educational Resource Finalist, 2009


      GCNHow NYC is untangling the tech-hiring knot, October 2015

      core77Civic Design Camp: Talks, Task Forces, Taboos and Tools for Large-Scale Impact, November 2014

      Los Angeles TimesCivic-minded hackers code well for the future, August 2013

      NPR’s Morning EditionHow Code For America’s Apps Benefit Kansas City, May 2013

      Time MagazinePeace Corps for Geeks, April 2013

      Filmaker MagazineTribeca Goes Interactive, April 2013

      Fast.Co Create, April 2013

      Columbia Journalism ReviewCollecting Sandy’s Stories One by One, April 2013

      Silicon Prairie NewsCode for America’s first month in KC all about “listening, learning”, February 2013

      Parsons re:D Magazine, Alumni Profiles, Spring 2010

      Public Speaking

      Personal Democracy Forum · New York, NY ·  June 2016
      Bid With, Not For: Building Empathy Into Selling Civic Tech

      AIGA City as Interface · New York, NY ·  December 2015
      Discussing how technology is reshaping how citizens, policy, design, and government interact with one another in New York City.

      Code for America Summit · Oakland, CA ·  October 2015
      Your government wants you: hiring a team of designers in New York City Government.

      LMHQ Offsite · New York, NY ·  June 2015
      Navigating the Innovation Frenzy of Work

      Code for America Summit · San Francisco, CA ·  September 2014
      Makers To Mayors: Building Design and Development Capacity Inside Government. Governments around the world are creating different models for increasing design and development capacity and competency — from change by revolution to in-agency design teams to chief innovation officers. Panelists and participants explore the many possibilities, share how government is empowering change, and strengthen their network of fellow public servants who are designing and developing new ideas and processes.

      BetaNYC Women’s Civic Hack Night · New York, NY · December 2013 Demo

      Keynote at Government UX/UI Bootcamp · San Juan, Puerto Rico ·  November 2013
      “Designing Government for Your Citizens: Using design to create modern interactions with government”

      Talking Transition · New York, NY ·  November 2013 Demo as part of “21st Century City: The Social Impact of Data & Technology”

      1 Million Cups · Kansas City, MO · February & November 2013
      Code for America Introduction and Demo

      Code for America Summit · San Francisco, CA · October 2013
      Kansas City Spotlight

      Kansas City Art Institute · Kansas City, MO · October 2013
      Guest Lecture

      Panel at New York City Government Technology Forum · Brooklyn, NY · November 2012
      Innovation & New Models of Civic Engagement

      University of Michigan School of Information · Ann Arbor, MI · November 2011
      “Experience at Scale” Guest Lecture

      Parsons the New School for Design · New York, NY · April 2010, April 2011, November 2011, April 2012
      Guest Lectures