Ric Grefé is Design Thinker in Residence at Williams College, exploring ways in which to introduce techniques for creative thinking and human centered design into the curriculum where it assists faculty in their teaching objectives, supporting student endeavors in social and business entrepreneurial ventures, and assisting staff as they continually improve the Williams experience.
Ric is director emeritus of AIGA, the professional association for design, the oldest and largest professional association of designers in the United States representing the interests of 27,000 designers working in a variety of communication media and dimensions, ranging from type and book designers to new media and experience designers. AIGA, over twenty years under Ric’s aegis, has become a leading advocate for the value of designing, as a way of thinking and as a means of creating strategic value for business, the civic realm and social change, speaking and participating in forums on design thinking in Europe, North America and Asia. He also taught “Design thinking for social change” and “Liberal Arts for Epic Challenges” at Wesleyan University.
Ric earned a BA from Dartmouth College in economics, served in Naval intelligence in Asia, reported from the Bronx County Courthouse for AP, wrote for Time magazine on business and the economy, and then earned an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Following an early career in urban design and public policy consulting, Ric managed the association responsible for strategic planning and legislative advocacy for public television and led a think tank on the future of public television and radio in Washington.