Lisa Baird

Senior Advisor

Interest Areas


Lisa Baird is a business designer, organizational designer, and user experience designer with a passion for new-venture design. She has a particular interest in the interactive power of advanced financial models, organizational dynamics, and behavioral economics, particularly in the nonprofit and education space. Lisa believes that a well-designed business or financial model doesn’t look or feel like a model at all — through beautiful design it empowers non-numbers people and bean-counters alike to imagine (and re-imagine) new ventures, products, services, and experiences. She excels in the art of drawing out details and short-term business effects while keeping an eye on the big picture and long-term outcomes. Her areas of expertise include startups, financial services, organizational change, postsecondary education, and workforce development.

Lisa started her career in investment banking in New York before moving into enterprise finance at public university systems in Texas and California. She followed her public university work with a stint as Senior Program Officer in the postsecondary education group at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, followed by a shift to Principal Designer at the international design consultancy IDEO where she specialized in the discipline of business design within the education sector.

Lisa earned her MBA from the University of California, Berkeley and her Master of Design from the California College of the Arts. She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and her bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. You can find some of her writing online at Fast Company, edSurge, and Medium.