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Professional Summary

KATRINA ALCORN is a global executive who leads diverse, high-performing teams on strategic design and research initiatives from concept to launch. She's known as a dynamic, authentic, inspirational, and inclusive design leader who drives measurable business impact. Key results include increasing global ecommerce revenue by 5x, 340% ROI on design thinking, 10+% improvement in customer satisfaction and equal reduction in support cases, and a record number of design awards.

Expert in product design, CX/UX, design thinking, and innovation practices. Track record driving culture change and business results in high-tech, energy, financial services, and health care. Most recently led global product design and research function as Chief Design Officer for $20B software portfolio, managed $130M budget, and drove significant improvements in NPS scores and adoption rates. Taught design thinking around the world, and lectured at Harvard and Stanford. Award-winning author and sought-after speaker on topics ranging from design, AI, innovation, and women in leadership


Building/Leading Large Global Teams   Product Design   UX/CX    AI Design 
Growth-minded Leadership 
  Public Speaking    Culture Transformation 


Work Experience

General Manager, Design @ IBM

Reporting to the SVP of Software, responsible for IBM’s global design practice. With 3,000+ designers in more than 150 countries, our program was the model for design thinking in the enterprise. Direct team included 700 product designers, UX researchers, product managers, content designers, UX engineers, and front-end developers, and 18 technical and management executives responsible for all IBM Software product design and global design programs ($20B product portfolio). This included data & AI, automation, security, and sustainability applications; accessibility; the Carbon Design System; the Enterprise Design Thinking program; Racial Equity in Design; and design community, education, and career paths @ IBM. 



Sr. Director, Experience Design | Dec. 2017 - Jun. 2021

Reporting to Chief Digital Officer, centralized and led a ~100-person experience design (XD) team within the Digital Platform Experience (DPE) division. Created best-in-class experiences for customers as they evaluated, tried, and bought our products; accessed their products; managed their accounts, profiles, teams, settings, and subscriptions; began to use the products; and deepened their mastery of the products over time. 


Director, Experience Design | Jun. 2016 – Dec. 2017

Reporting to VP, Design, led teams of design managers and product line leaders to build a cohesive and scalable customer experience across product lines. Evangelized UX best practices across the company, facilitated strategic workshops, and led design thinking trainings for Autodesk employees and customers around the world.


Sr. UX Leader @ GE

Reporting to VP, Product Strategy, implemented customer-centric, design-driven process model for new software development. Planned and facilitated co-creation workshops with executives in the energy industry, resulting in groundbreaking new products and partnerships. Led UX research and provided creative direction for new products leveraging the Industrial Internet (aka the "Internet of Big Things"). Set direction for a cross-functional team of PMs, software architects, and developers to build an IoT product in the Gulf of Mexico that monitors off-shore oil rig equipment to improve operational safety and efficiency.


Principal, UX and Content @ Hot Studio

Reporting to company founder and CEO, built and led the UX practice for this award-winning design firm (bought by Facebook in 2013). Responsibilities included hiring and leading a team of 12-17 staff and freelance UX designers; defining and developing research, strategy, and interaction design practice; developing client relationships; helping win millions in new business; and promoting our work through public speaking. Clients included Adobe, Salesforce, Charles Schwab, Gap Inc., Wells Fargo, LeapFrog SchoolHouse, Architecture for Humanity, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and eBay.


Founder, UX @ Studio Sungo

Owned and operated user experience (UX) consulting agency with my husband, Brian Alcorn, as an LLC and later, S-Corp. Services: UX research; interaction design for web, mobile, and IoT; content strategy; user research; workshop facilitation. Contracted directly with clients or subcontracted through select agencies. Key clients: Visa, Abbott Diabetes Care, Blue Shield of California, UC Berkeley, and The Women's Foundation of CA. Contracted several months as interim VP, UX at Huge to cover a maternity leave.


1997 - 1999

UC Berkeley | MJ, Journalism, documentary filmmaking

Activities: Produced thesis film, "The Mystery of Rath Pohl" about orphans in Cambodia. Aired on PBS stations in New York, San Jose, San Diego, and Philadelphia. Won prestigious department television award two years in a row.


Binghamton University | B.A., English

Activities: Theater; Dance; Study abroad in Santiago, Chile


Travel, dance, yoga, illustration, and learning languages (I speak conversational Spanish from a year living in Chile, and I speak enough Portuguese to get by for a month of backpacking in Brazil).

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