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Valerie Fletcher

Valerie Fletcher at Change Order 2 Conference

Valerie Fletcher at Change Order 2 Conference

Liz Linder Photography

Valerie Fletcher has been Executive Director since 1998 of the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), an international educational and design non-profit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts founded in 1978. The organizational mission is to advance the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities through excellence in design. Fletcher writes, lectures and works internationally. She currently oversees projects ranging from the development of a global, web-based collection of case studies of universal design in the built environment to user-expert research in cultural facilities, national parks and service businesses. Her research focus is integrated social and environmentally sustainable solutions for classrooms, workplaces, homes and the public realm.

Fletcher's career has been divided between design and public mental health and she is the former Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health where she oversaw the largest participatory planning process ever undertaken in a state mental health system. She was Principal of Fletcher Studio Design from 1978-1985.

She is a Special Advisor on Inclusive Design to the governments of Singapore and France, the Open Society Institute and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Fletcher has a master degree in ethics and public policy from Harvard University. The Boston Society of Architects awarded her the Women in Design award in 2005. She co-chairs the Design Industry Group of Massachusetts, is an advisor to Metropolis magazine for NextGen 2013 Awards and a Founding Member, International Association for Universal Design in Tokyo.