WASHINGTON (Oct. 1 2018) – Education Design Lab (the Lab), a nonprofit that applies design thinking to create new pathways from education to employment, announces the appointment of Marta Urquilla as chief program officer, and Isaac Agbeshie-Noye as historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) director. In these roles, Urquilla and Agbeshie-Noye will strengthen the Lab’s expertise by providing diverse perspectives on challenges and opportunities ahead for higher education.
“With two more committed strategists onboard, we are poised to bring our design work and expertise to another level,” said Kathleen deLaski, Education Design Lab founder. “Our goal is to support one million learners with more affordable, more portable and more relevant models and tools by 2025. Marta and Isaac will accelerate our ability to get there.”
Urquilla brings 25 years of experience working across sectors to build community solutions and results-oriented policy approaches to improve lives. In her previous position as deputy director at the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University, she helped grow and manage the center while working on policy innovation and systemic approaches to achieve outcomes-focused solutions. Under President Obama, Urquilla served as senior policy advisor in the inaugural White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and as senior advisor for social innovation at the Corporation for National and Community Service.
In her new role as chief program officer at the Lab, Urquilla will be responsible for directing the creation of new education models toward the future of work. Working alongside the Lab’s education designers and a network of education institutions, foundations, industry partners, education technology entrepreneurs and nonprofits, she will lead efforts to grow the Lab’s focus areas and transform design insights into scalable solutions.
“I am excited to join the Lab and to collaborate with the team and Innovator Network to create new models and pathways that connect students to successful outcomes in their academic and professional careers,” Urquilla said. “I was drawn to the Lab for many reasons, including a wonderfully creative and committed team.”
Agbeshie-Noye holds extensive experience across the education sphere. Prior to joining the Lab, he served as the director of orientation and family programs at George Mason University, where he co-led the university’s effort to redesign the student initiation experience. In addition to this responsibility, he facilitated the successful integration of various technology platforms to improve service delivery across the university’s departments, supported and advocated for the needs of non-traditional student populations and facilitated cross-functional collaboration between student and academic affairs practitioners.
At the Lab, Agbeshie-Noye will take lead on a project with the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Career Pathways Initiative, which is designed to assist 14 historically and/or predominantly black colleges and universities to reimagine general education requirements, strengthen workforce relationships and enhance on-campus career services for students. His efforts will contribute to ensuring that students are able to achieve purposeful employment post-graduation. In addition to these responsibilities, Agbeshie-Noye will contribute to other projects that implement design thinking within higher education.
“I wanted to join the Lab to explore and implement new approaches to fostering equity and facilitating student success in higher education,” Agbeshie-Noye said. “We have a responsibility to create an environment where all students have the opportunity to learn, and as our students continue to evolve, I was interested in the Lab’s role in assisting institutions in evolving with them.”
To see the Lab’s full leadership team, please visit www.eddesignlab.org/about-us.
About Education Design Lab
Education Design Lab is a 501c3 nonprofit that designs, tests, and implements unique higher education models and credentials that address the rapidly changing economy and emerging technology opportunities. The Lab demonstrates where technology, rigor and design can improve opportunity for students to maximize their potential in the higher education system.
Education Design Lab works across disciplines and alongside schools, employers, entrepreneurs, government, foundations, nonprofits and innovators. The organization has significant experience managing national and local learning cohorts, working with organizations such as The Lumina Foundation, UNCF, American Council on Education, Credly, and the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership. Learn more: www.eddesignlab.org.