Virginia Hamilton

Senior Lead, Design Thinking and Innnovation at American Institutes for Research

Virginia Hamilton

Senior Lead, Design Thinking and Innnovation at American Institutes for Research

Biography

Virginia is an experienced public policy expert, with deep knowledge of both content and process skills. She has joined the American Institutes for Research, where she will focus on building a workforce development practice. She is bringing design thinking to the work and continuing to focus on such issues as long term unemployment, job training, youth unemployment, economic development, poverty, access and equity.

At the Department of Labor, Virginia had responsibility for eight west coast states and 4 territories in the Pacific. Virginia also worked for the Secretary of Labor’s office on issues of employee engagement and innovation. She is passionate about process literacy and design. She has worked with leadership in organizations to teach them how to collaborate, build partnerships, have important conversations, send the right messages, and get things done. She has been focused on practicing and teaching process skills, and design thinking for the last 15 years. At DOL, she spearheaded the Customer Centered Design Initiative, which trained over 2000 workforce development professionals, who are now applying HCD to services. She has worked with IDEO focused on using HCD to help the unemployed have better customer experiences and better outcomes.

Virginia has an extensive network of people and organizations throughout the country, has served on many boards, advisory groups, and commissions. She is an accomplished pubic speaker. Her consulting work includes: facilitation, strategic planning, meeting and event design, civic engagement, public participation, collaborative processes, large scale system change. She has spent her career in non-profits and as a public servant with the mission of making government work better for vulnerable populations.

Always searching for ways to involve more people, bring participatory methods into projects and organizations, encourage creativity and joy, Virginia is a change agent who is willing to tell the truth to improve lives.