Founder and Chief Designer
Center for Design Kindness
Shelley Henson helps social impact organizations achieve sustainable outcomes through learning strategy, human-centered design, and impact evaluation. Her experience spans both the public and private sectors. Shelley held global senior leadership roles at Visa, Inc., and American Express, where she enabled financial inclusion for marginalized groups, supported learning strategy around diversity and inclusion efforts, and introduced human-centered design into leadership training.
Shelley has helped humanitarian organizations improve their ability to engage beneficiaries in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs meant for them. This has included the Perpetual Education Fund, refugee resettlement with the International Rescue Committee, and audience listening research with the Navajo Nation.
As Design Research Scientist for the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University, Shelley led research and innovation efforts to provide open access to learning materials from over a hundred universities, including MIT, Open University of the Netherlands, Notre Dame, Perdue, and more. This work allowed for a free flow of information that supports sustainable agriculture, business development, and technology growth globally.
Shelley holds a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Global Development Practice from Harvard’s Extension School and an M.Ed. in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction from Weber State University, where she was adjunct faculty in Leadership Development. She serves as the Board Chair for Know Your Lemons, a global women’s health education non-profit, and has previously served on the advisory board of Harvard ManageMentor, a leadership development platform.
Growing up a child of a U.S. Military pilot living all over the U.S., Asia, and Europe taught Shelley from a young age to first listen, observe, and learn when entering a new cultural experience, a practice that has been invaluable in the work she now does. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her two dogs, a rabbit, and is surrounded by 20 nieces and nephews who are her favorite outdoor recreation companions.