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. Her research focus is engaging user/experts in analysis of the usability in places and in products.
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 Open Society Institute, the governments of France and Singapore and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Fletcher has a master’s 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 and a Founding Member of the International Association for Universal Design in Tokyo.