Skip to main content


External Advisory Board

The External Advisory Board advises the Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) Chair and assists HCDE faculty regarding program promotion, curriculum innovation, job placement, and evaluation.

Board Members

Jeremy BarksdaleJeremy Barksdale

User Experience Research Manager, Unity Technologies
Councilmember, City of Bellevue

Jeremy Barksdale served on the City of Bellevue's Planning Commission prior to City Council. He now serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Eastside and Fuse Washington.

Jeremy earned a PhD in Computer Science (with a concentration in HCI) and a master’s in Public Administration from Virginia Tech. He earned a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Production with a minor in Business Administration, and a master of science degree in Computer Science with a concentration in software engineering from North Carolina A&T State University.

Jeremy’s personal interests include volunteering in the community, playing musical instruments, singing, reading, hiking and biking. He lives in south Bellevue.

Jeremy BeasleyJeremy Beasley

UX Design Lead, Google

Jeremy is a UX design lead at Google, focusing on emerging technologies and platforms.

He has over 15 years of experience crafting product vision and design strategy in a range of environments: large tech (Microsoft, Google, Apple), design and technology consultancies and early-stage startups.

Jeremy has a passion for local design and creative communities. He organizes CreativeMornings/Seattle, has taught at School of Visual Concepts, mentored capstone projects in MHCID program and serves on the board of the Museum of Pop Culture. 

bjorn headshotPernille Bjørn

Professor, Computer Science University of Copenhagen, DIKU

Pernille Bjørn is Professor & Deputy Head of Department for Research at the Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen (DIKU), Denmark.

Pernille's main interest is to investigate how people collaborate within complex work arrangement aiming at developing concepts useful for the design of collaborative technologies, and her main research area is Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). She has conducted ethnographic studies of collaborative work practices in several domains such as healthcare, engineering, tech entrepreneurship, and software development. Currently, she has three different research interests: 1) Diversity in Computer Science, 2) Cooperative Virtual Reality in Industry, and 3) The future of Hybrid work. Professor Bjørn just published her second book ‘Diversity in Computer Science - design artefacts for equity & inclusion’ in October 2022.

Cababa  headshotSheryl Cababa

VP, Strategy, Substantial

Sheryl works as Vice President of Strategy at Substantial, a design and technology consultancy in Seattle. With a background in design research and strategy, she drives a human-centered design practice that is focused on systems thinking and evidence-based design, working on everything from robotic surgery design solutions to tackling youth homelessness through service design. She has worked with a diverse base of clients including the Gates Foundation, Microsoft, IHME, and IKEA. Previously, she worked at companies such as frog, Adaptive Path, and Philips, conducting qualitative design research and leading user experience design projects. She holds a B.A. in journalism and political science from Syracuse University.

Sheryl is an international speaker and workshop facilitator. She has also taught courses at School of Visual Concepts and in the HCDE program. She's a board member of Design in Public. 

Liz GerberLiz Gerber

Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Communication Studies, Northwestern University
Co-Director, Center for Human Computer Interaction + Design

Liz Gerber is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Communication Studies and, by courtesy, Computer Science and Learning Sciences at Northwestern University and the Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Human Computer Interaction and Design.
Liz helps organizations design and implement new technologies to effectively collaborate. She is particularly interested in how new social technologies enable new ways to share and create new information with diverse stakeholders; how the new sources of information change how people work and how the shifts in the way people work changes the role of the organization. Her work cuts across design, computer science, and organizational studies, is generously supported by the National Science Foundation and industry, and informed by her formal training in product design, management science, and studio art at Stanford University and Dartmouth College.
Liz consults with profits and nonprofits about how to manage the human side of technology implementation. Recent engagements focused on helping companies use social technology to increase knowledge sharing internally and externally to strengthen product development. Her work has been featured in outlets including NPR, ABC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, and Wired.

headshotTracy Johnson

Senior Program Officer, User Experience & Innovation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Tracy Johnson is a senior program officer focused on user experience and innovation for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Delivery Programs. Her current work focuses on creating a strategy for applying human-centered design across the foundation’s portfolio of grants, as well as building capacity in this area. Johnson received her Ph.D. in socio-cultural anthropology from Columbia University.

headshotNatasha N. Jones

Associate Professor, Michigan State University
President, Association of Teachers of Technical Writing

Natasha N. Jones is a technical communication scholar and co-author of the book Technical Communication after the Social Justice Turn: Building Coalitions for Action (winner of the 2021 CCCC Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication). Her research interests include social justice, narrative, and technical communication pedagogy. She holds herself especially accountable to Black women and marginalized genders and other systemically marginalized communities. As such, she strives to conscientiously center the narratives and experiences of those at the margins in her scholarship. Her work has been published in a several journals including, Technical Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, and the Journal of Business and Technical Communication. She has received national recognition for her contributions, being awarded the CCCC Best Article in Technical and Scientific Communication (2020, 2018, and 2014) and the Nell Ann Pickett Award (2017). She currently serves as the President for the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW) and is an Associate Professor at Michigan State University in the Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures department. 

headshotLiz Juhnke

Principal Product Designer, The Home Depot

Liz is a Principal Product Designer at The Home Depot with a specialty in designing complex enterprise software. Previously at Boeing, Liz was the Principal Product Designer for the IT Connected Factory team and the founder of the UX Community of Excellence. She holds Boeing Designated Expert Awards in User Experience, Design Thinking, Human Computer Interaction and Software Design and was honored with a Boeing Associate Technical Fellowship in 2021. Liz received one Meritorious Invention Award, one patent and one Innovation Award for software she designed throughout her tenure at Boeing. 

Liz loves teaching user centered design at universities, speaking at conferences and leading experiential workshops (such as the Design-a-thon for social good 2021). She also loves mentoring aspiring UX Designers through the Informatics department (UW), HCDE department (UW), and ADPList. Liz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Informatics (HCI) from the University of Washington and a Master of Science degree in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. 

Daniella KimDaniella Kim

Principal User Researcher & Founder, Halibut Flats

Daniella Kim, PhD, is the principal user researcher and founder of Halibut Flats Research and Development. She is an academically trained experimental psychologist with over 15 years of research experience. Daniella spent seven years at the University of Washington, investigating how babies listen to and hear music. Most recently she is teaching a class on Toddler iPad Game development at the UW and on faculty at the Art Institute of Seattle where she taught Psychology and Acoustics. Daniella has recently been investigating the acquisition of gestural communication by digital natives. She loves the spark of collaboration in UX and believes that good experience is a priority in all interaction

headshotJames Landay

Professor, School of Engineering, Stanford University

James Landay is a Professor of Computer Science and the Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University. He specializes in human-computer interaction. He is the founder and co-director of the World Lab, a joint research and educational effort with Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is also the co-founder and Associate Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). Previously, Landay was a Professor of Information Science at Cornell Tech in New York City and prior to that he was a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. From 2003 through 2006 he was the Laboratory Director of Intel Labs Seattle, a university affiliated research lab that explored the new usage models, applications, and technology for ubiquitous computing. He was also the chief scientist and co-founder of NetRaker, which was acquired by KeyNote Systems in 2004. From 1997 through 2003 he was a professor in EECS at UC Berkeley. Landay received his BS in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1990, and MS and PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993 and 1996, respectively. His PhD dissertation was the first to demonstrate the use of sketching in user interface design tools. He was named to the ACM SIGCHI Academy in 2011 and as an ACM Fellow in 2017. He formerly served on the NSF CISE Advisory Committee.

Dimeji OnafuwaDimeji Onafuwa

Principal UX Research Manager, Microsoft

Dr. Dimeji Onafuwa is a researcher, designer, artist, and educator whose interests intersect with transition design, the pluriverse, and enabling better user experiences. He is currently a Principal UX Research Manager at Microsoft. Dimeji earned a Ph.D. in Design from Carnegie Mellon University. While at CMU, his research study sought to understand commons-based approaches to user experience on platforms. During his doctoral study, he worked with different collectives to understand how platforms enable resource negotiation. Dimeji also holds an MBA in management from UNC Charlotte and BAs in design and studio art from Concord University.
Dimeji co-founded Common Cause Collective, an interdisciplinary group of designers exploring transition design methodologies for social impact in the Pacific Northwest. He has published papers, written book chapters, delivered several talks & keynote addresses, and led workshops on design's role in social justice. Dimeji's art has been featured in exhibitions at galleries and museums. 

Behzod SirjaniBehzod Sirjani

Founder, Yet Another Studio

Behzod Sirjani is a research consultant, advisor, and investor. He founded Yet Another Studio to help people bring more rigor to their curiosity and organizations build better research practices, working with everyone from two person teams up to companies like Figma and Dropbox. He is also an Executive in Residence and Program Partner at Reforge, where he built and leads the User Insights for Product Decisions program, and a Venture Partner at El Cap.

Previously, Behzod led Research Operations at Slack and was a Senior UX Researcher at Facebook, where he co-founded the Research Associates Program. He cares deeply about sharing and teaching the practice of research, and has experience conducting research in consumer and enterprise settings across North America, Europe, and Asia. Behzod earned a MS in Human Centered Design & Engineering from the University of Washington and a BA in Rhetoric & Media Studies from Willamette University.

Jessica TownsendJessica Townsend

Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Olin College

Dr. Jessica Townsend is a Professor of Engineering and the Interim Academic Vice President for External Engagement at Olin College. Since joining the Olin College faculty in 2004, Dr. Townsend has worked as a facilitator and consultant with universities and professional organizations looking to improve engineering student engagement. She currently oversees institutional-level strategy for Olin’s external educational change mission and has contributed to the development of innovative pedagogies, courses, and curricula at Olin College. Her technical area of interest is experimental thermal-fluids and she worked for many years on the development and characterization of nanofluids (colloidal suspensions of nanoparticles), mainly for thermal management applications. Dr. Townsend has industry experience in both air-breathing propulsion, as a gas turbine performance engineer at Hamilton Sundstrand Power Systems, and in rocket propulsion, as a visiting engineer at Blue Origin, a commercial spaceflight company based in Seattle, WA.

Carolyn WeiCarolyn Wei

UX Research Lead at Facebook

Carolyn Wei is a user experience research lead at Facebook. She has previously worked as a user experience researcher for Microsoft and Google. She studies consumers and enterprise users in the lab and in the wild. Carolyn received a PhD from Human Centered Design and Engineering (then known as Technical Communication) at the University of Washington in 2007, where she studied technology use in digitally emergent settings.

Haiyan ZhangHaiyan Zhang

General Manager, Gaming AI, Microsoft Gaming

Haiyan is Chief of Staff at Xbox, Microsoft’s Gaming division. She was formerly Senior Director of Innovation at Microsoft Research Cambridge and Technical Advisor to Lab Director, Christopher Bishop. She has also served as an inventor and TV host on the BBC series, Big Life Fix, inventing cutting-edge technology in support of people and communities in need.

An innovation and technology leader, Haiyan has spent the past 20 years working hands-on in software engineering, user experience, hardware R&D, service design, Cloud platforms, design thinking and blue-sky envisioning. She continues to push on the boundaries where technology can transform people’s lives for the better.

Previously roles include Innovation Director at Xbox Games Studio; Co-Founder, Design & Development Lead for the SaaS platform, OpenIDEO. With over 150,000 users worldwide solving challenges for social good and used as the enterprise innovation engine for organizations such as British Airways, DeutscheBank, Harvard Business School.

Working at the design consultancy, IDEO, Haiyan has created innovative tech experiences for community building, entertainment, financial services. She has worked with leading video game makers on research and ideas for new play experiences. Clients have included Mattel, Electronic Arts, HBO, Citibank, France Telecom, Alcatel, Cisco, and AT&T.

Haiyan’s work is informed by her previous profession as a software engineer & user interface designer creating applications for the biomedical & data-mining industries.

Haiyan has a Masters degree with Distinction in Interaction Design from the renowned Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, and has a Bachelor of Computer Science (1st-Class Honours) from Monash University, Australia.