Design Lead - Ending the Poverty to Prison Pipeline

As part of a comprehensive effort to reform and reinvent New York City’s approach to criminal justice and policing, the City of New York is launching an “Ending the Poverty to Prison Pipeline” initiative that addresses the recommendations surfaced in the Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative draft plan. Within this initiative, NYC Opportunity will be focused on developing solutions and furthering recommendations that connect low-income and justice-involved clients and their families to new or improved streamlined services and supports that center community needs, and prevent or reduce justice system contact.

The Design Lead will primarily support the Ending the Poverty to Prison Pipeline initiative, and use their expertise and experience to work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders to plan, research and design solutions and recommendations that address not only end products or services, but also processes (eg. contracting), practices (eg. client service), policies (eg. service requirements), communications (eg. outreach and communications), and organizational culture. You will also be expected to interact with agencies, community organizations, advocates, New Yorkers affected by the justice system, and other stakeholders.

The Design Lead will also provide ongoing support for other NYC Opportunity priorities which require a service design and user-centered perspective. You will work closely with design, program and evaluation, data, product and technology team members to enhance and expand NYC Opportunity’s programs and products and will contribute to elevating, strengthening and executing the wider office’s strategies. Most of your projects will fall under the Service Design Studio team, but some of your work will be part of cross-collaborative efforts across the wider office, many which will have touchpoints around the theme of improving and streamlining service navigation.


As a Design Lead, you come with the desire to proactively address issues of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion within the context of service design and advocate for centering the voices of New Yorkers - our residents, community-based service providers, frontline staff and other stakeholders - through our service design processes, tools and outputs.

Responsibilities include:

  • Research, design, prototype, develop, and test new and existing public services.
  • Contribute to the identification of new projects and offerings including development of strategy, design, deliverables and final products.
  • Facilitate design process with stakeholders inside and outside government.
  • Provide design feedback across team projects and incorporate team feedback into projects.
  • Conduct user research and testing including outreach, planning, and facilitation.
  • Turn user research insights into actionable items and deliverables, including journey maps, research reports, enhancement lists, etc.
  • Develop wireframes, mockups, final design documentation, and style guides for new and existing services.
  • Prepare decks, agendas and other facilitation materials and talking points to run successful stakeholder meetings.
  • Develop and design curriculum for service design trainings and workshops.
  • Review and maintain design related deliverables from development teams, vendors, and external partners.
  • Contribute to identification of current product enhancements and new offerings including development of strategy, design, deliverables, and final products.
  • Participate in or support office wide or cross-agency working groups that need technical assistance or thought leadership.
  • Contribute to city-wide design standards and initiatives.
  • Perform duties as assigned by the Director of Design.
  • Advocate for centering communities when designing programs and services.
  • Contribute time and skill in promoting and storytelling the work of the Studio and the larger office. You see yourself as an ambassador for the work.

  Skills We're Seeking

We understand that candidates may not have all of the skills we are seeking below. We encourage those interested to apply even if they do not meet all of them. We are looking for talented individuals to join our team.

Experience working closely with communities who are engaging with public services and programs and/or has lived-experience engaging with public services and programs.

Experience in policy, government or non-profit, in particular with low-income and vulnerable youth and families is a plus.

Strong project management experience with multiple stakeholders (crafting scope of work documents, writing design briefs, managing timelines and coordinating schedules, building strategic plans, etc.).

Meeting and workshop facilitation (preparing facilitation guides, building agendas, leading discussions and co-design sessions).

Understands and has employed participatory research and community-centered design research and engagement practices.

Experience building and strengthening partnerships amongst multiple stakeholders.

Strong analytical skills and ability to understand and synthesize complex systems.

All hands on deck attitude: Comfortable working in a fast-paced bureaucratic environment, can pivot their work and respond to rapid requests willingly.

Commitment to the mission of advancing greater equality and opportunity.

Experience with an agile, iterative development processes.

Technical skills that are preferred, but not required: Adobe Creative Suite, Figma, MIRO, or other prototyping or visualization platforms.

Strong communication and presentation skills, both verbal and written.

  Education and Experience

A master's degree from an accredited college in social design, anthropology, public administration, public policy, economics, information technology, data science, finance, sociology, political science, urban studies or a closely related field, and two years of satisfactory full-time professional experience in government, or non-profit or social impact sector.


A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college and four years of professional experience in the areas described above.

  Benefits and Compensation

This is a permanent, full-time position offering competitive salary and benefits. To learn more about the New York City's Employee benefits, visit the NYC Office of Labor Relations.

The salary range for this position is $90,000 - $105,000 commensurate with experience and qualifications.

  How to Apply

The application window for Design Lead position with the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity is now closed.