Photo by Hollyanne Faber

Photo by Hollyanne Faber




About Esther Y. Kang 

b. 1986    Detroit, MI   

I grew up with parents who instilled the importance of two things: understanding the full context of a given situation and having an empathetic approach to relationships. The aforementioned became integral pillars in life encouraging me to ask a lot of questions, take initiative, and imagine myself in circumstances other than my own. This spirit developed throughout my formative years in the U.S.—the midwest, the south, and along the west coast.

Each location fostered a position that deeply values authenticity, curiosity, and integrity. All of which inform my work and process. I am committed to building social equity, designing inclusive infrastructures, and advocating for the application of intersectional pedagogies.

I previously served as the inaugural human-centered design expert for a White House Initiative under the Obama Administration. Prior to my year of service, I worked in family philanthropy, local policymaking, nonprofit management, and arts administration in Baltimore, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. 

I am currently an independent strategist, researcher, and educator partnering with teams across the country to confront and address complex social issues, together.


Organizational & systems design
Qualitative data (all things)
Concept design, development, & implementation
Framework development & application
Workshop design & facilitation
Coaching & teaching

Gap Year

Durban, South Africa & Perth, Western Australia  
Youth With A Mission '04 - '05
Assist homeless youth and HIV+ teens find appropriate healthcare, shelter, and treatment 


Maryland Institute College of Art
M.A. Social Design '16

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago  
B.F.A. Photography & Art Theory '10