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avatar for Kate Lydon

Kate Lydon

IDEO
Senior Portfolio Director, Service & Experience
San Francisco, CA

Kate Lydon is a Senior Portfolio Director at IDEO, leading Service and Experience Design. She builds content excellence across a broad portfolio that includes sectors from retail to government to financial services and travel. With a background in brand strategy, creative direction and architecture, Kate guides cross-disciplinary teams and clients towards visionary, innovative, human-centered solutions. She has a proven talent for reframing complex, systems challenges and developing strategy that is both meaningful and tangible.

Kate is passionate about creating design work that inspires wonder and builds human connections. Her work is informed by a passion for cultural trends, community, and storytelling—and expertise at the intersection of digital and physical space. Since joining IDEO in 2008, her award-winning work has included scaling low-cost education in Peru, designing new service models for retailers, building a movement around emergency preparedness, and designing networks of innovation hubs across the US. Clients have included Verizon, the City of San Francisco, Mayo Clinic, Intergroup, and Deloitte.

Prior to IDEO, Kate’s career encompassed creative direction at the Smithsonian Institution, editorial strategy and branding for the Washington Post, iconic retail and experience design, and global trendspotting. Kate holds a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and Bachelors degrees in Urban Planning and Art History from the University of California, San Diego. She taught at American University and the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and is a frequent speaker and guest critic.