Valerie Fletcher has been the Executive Director of the Institute for Human Centered Design since the beginning of 1998. Valerie currently oversees a wide range of projects including a global web-based collection of case studies of universal design in the built environment, demonstration projects for a public school and a community development initiative that pair universal design and environmental sustainability with research focused on features for people with sensory or brain-based functional issues. Fletcher lectures and writes internationally. She is the Principal Investigator for the New England ADA Center, a project of IHCD. Fletcher’s career has been divided between design and public mental health. She is the former Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health where she directed the reinvestment of $70M in institutional spending to new community programs through a landmark community planning process. She has a master’s in ethics in public policy from Harvard University. The Boston Society of Architects awarded Fletcher their Woman in Design award in 2005. She lives in Boston with her husband, Mark, a sculptor and furniture designer.