Elizabeth Gerber

Associate Professor, Co-director of the Research Cluster at the Segal Design Institute


Dr. Liz Gerber serves as Associate Professor of Design in the School of Engineering and School of Communication, as Director of the Design Research Cluster, and as the Faculty Founder of Design for America at the Northwestern University. A globally-recognized expert in the areas of innovation, technology, and collaboration, Dr. Gerber has served as an innovation strategist, executive adviser, leadership coach, and innovation trainer for several of the world’s premier organizations, including Fortune Global 500 corporations, philanthropic and humanitarian organizations, and educational institutions. She also co-developed Design for America’s Leadership Studio, an annual national leadership summit for leaders of social innovation. As a young graduate student, she co-founded the design and business initiative at the world-renknowned Stanford “” started by David Kelley. And as a first year faculty, started Design for America, the award winning national network of social innovators. She is emerging as one of his generation’s most trusted and influential voices in design and innovation, having created two initiatives that has already impacted tens of thousands of lives across social economic and interdisciplinary boundaries. Dr. Gerber is an internationally sought-after teacher and conference speaker. Dr. Gerber is committed to innovation and social impact, serving as an advisor to the Family Action Network and on the steering committee for Northwestern’s Center for Civic Engagement. She been honored for excellence and promise as a scholar and leader by several organizations, including the Crain’s Businessweek, Ashoka U, and IEEE. She has also been named one of Chicago’s 40 Next Generation of Leaders (under 40) by Crain’s Businessweek, Public Interest Design Top 100 People, Pritzer Inventor in Residence, and a Public Voices Faculty Fellow with The OpEd Project. She and her award-winning work have been featured in global media outlets including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NPR, ABC, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company, Smithosonian Magazine, The Nation, Popular Science, The Guardian, and Oprah Magazine. Dr. Gerber holds the Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering and a M.S. in Product Design from Stanford University and a B.A. in Art and Engineering from Dartmouth College. Dr. Gerber currently resides in Evanston with her husband, Nick, and two young children. Bio Photo Credit: Lisa Beth Anderson