Dave Dawkins

Communication Design Lead

Dave is a visual designer who wields beauty for justice and belonging. As a design lead at IDEO.org, he applies human-centered design through an equity lens to address systemic challenges. 

Deeply invested in working on issues that are immediate, but in service to the larger picture, Dave has worked within systems to advance youth education, gender equality, health care, publishing, refugee resettlement, and government services. Before joining IDEO.org, Dave served as Chief Creative Officer for one of the country’s largest African American-owned and operated publishing firms—seeking to change the view of what is seen as “good design” by re-centering perspectives of the global majority.

An artist by training, Dave has a unique ability to communicate deeply philosophical thoughts through beautiful visuals. Throughout his career, he has worked across multiple mediums—from building a system of scalable chicken coups in Ghana to creating more accessible health communications for refugees and immigrants in the United States. He’s also worked on films, co-designed new school environments, and helped launch a collective of local and national leaders invested in transforming early learning. A skilled facilitator, Dave’s purpose is to make design accessible by inspiring confidence in others.

Dave holds a BFA from the University of Houston in studio arts painting. On any given day, you can find him exploring the Bay Area with his family or going for a nature hike while tuning into a podcast on physics, politics, or blackness.

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