Esther Y. Kang is an independent educator, researcher, and strategist. She works at the intersection of social justice, public policy, and civic innovation by designing resident-centered policies and user-friendly services with teams across sectors. Recent collaborators include Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities and The OpenGov Foundation. Recent projects include the first design research project at the Congressional level, redesigning an outreach program for a White House Initiative (under the Obama administration), and designing an equity-centered framework for code enforcement policies at the state level. Esther is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, an MFA thesis advisor at the School of Visual Arts, a board member of the Restorative Justice Initiative, and a grant review committee member of the Korean American Community Foundation.
Esther previously served as the inaugural human-centered design expert for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) under the Obama Administration where she applied this practice to organizational health, policy development, and program design. Prior to her year of service, she worked in family philanthropy, city government, nonprofit management, and arts administration in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Esther was named a disruptor in art, culture, and philanthropy by CSQ Magazine as part of 2018’s 40 under 40 list. She has also served on advisory councils and steering committees of national and regional nonprofit organizations, in addition to being Adjunct Faculty at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
Esther received her M.A. in social design from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and her B.F.A. in art theory and photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Esther is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.