Ariel Kennan draws upon her experience in multidisciplinary design and technology to collaborate with a wide variety of cultural, corporate and government partners to design service experiences, craft strategy and policy, create digital products, and build teams and capacity. Her projects have won numerous awards, including the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival Award for Transmedia. Ariel currently serves the New York City Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity as Director, Design and Product, where she is improving social service delivery and advancing equity and opportunity for all New Yorkers and leads the nation’s first municipal service design studio focused on low-income residents. 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 for Economic Opportunity
New York, NY · September 2014 - Present
Director, Design and Product
Lead design and digital product development to improve service delivery and advance equity and opportunity for all New Yorkers.
- Manage team of designers, developers, product managers and analysts.
- Lead strategy and delivery of digital product portfolio, including redesign and redevelopment
of legacy products and building new applications and services.
- Consult on strategic initiatives.
- Oversee grants and vendor contracts, including multi-million dollar budget management.
- Created first municipal service design studio and toolkit focused on low-income residents.
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.
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.
New York, NY · January 2008 - December 2012
Interaction and Experience Designer, Design Lead
Promoted from intern to lead designer. Served on creative teams and provided production oversight 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
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
NYC Technology Forum, Best External Application, 2017
New York Digital Government Summit, Best Application Serving The Public, 2017
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