Jennifer May

Executive Director, Designmatters Department

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Jennifer May is the Executive Director for Designmatters, the social innovation department at ArtCenter College of Design, where she oversees a dynamic portfolio of external partnerships, curricular and extracurricular projects, and an active slate of special initiatives and publications at the intersection of art, design, education and social impact. Jennifer leads the department’s operations and strategy, positioning Designmatters as a hub for cross-disciplinary projects and partnerships that give students and faculty the opportunity to apply their incredible talents to meaningful topics that drive towards a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

Jennifer first joined Designmatters as the Manager of the LEAP Symposium, a 2013 gathering of 150 thought leaders to discuss career pathways in the emergent field of design for social innovation. She then served as Managing Editor for the award-winning book LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation and as Editor for LEAP Dialogues: The Educator’s Guide, for which she and her fellow Editors won the 2018 Design Incubation Service Award. She is currently serving on the Editorial Team for Global LEAP, a survey of social innovation design case studies from around the world. She was recently part of the inaugural cohort for LeadLA, a leadership program for professionals run by Coro Southern California. Jennifer earned her M.B.A. from USC Marshall School of Business, where she was a Forte Fellow, a Society and Business Lab Graduate Fellow, an Education Pioneers Graduate Fellow, and served as Vice President of Programs for Net Impact. Prior to returning to school, Jennifer was the Manager of Special Events for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where she served in the dual roles of fundraiser and logistics manager for events such as the Gustavo Dudamel Inaugural Gala and Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl. Jennifer earned her B.A. in Theater Management and Marketing from Emerson College and originally hails from Little Rock, AR.