Advanced Innovation

Director of Design Studio | Valiant Labs

Beaverton, Oregon

Become a Part of the NIKE, Inc. Team

NIKE, Inc. does more than outfit the world’s best athletes. It is a place to explore potential, obliterate boundaries and push out the edges of what can be. The company looks for people who can grow, think, dream and create. Its culture thrives by embracing diversity and rewarding imagination. The brand seeks achievers, leaders and visionaries. At NIKE, Inc. it’s about each person bringing skills and passion to a challenging and constantly evolving game.

Innovation is oxygen for NIKE, Inc., and the company depends on its talented, global workforce to breathe originality and curiosity into everything they do. The Nike Advanced Innovation team strives for lighter, faster, bigger, smarter, smaller, more efficient, more sustainable and more personal. They imagine, research, analyze and invent the next industry-changing technology to advance athletic performance. In roles that span research, design, materials and manufacturing, the Advanced Innovation team looks to the future and focuses on making the seemingly impossible, possible.

Who we are looking for

This is a unique opportunity to join a fast-moving entrepreneurial team currently exploring the edges of possibility. We move with speed and purpose, taking calculated risks and failing fast –all with one goal in mind: serving Nike consumers in new and unimagined ways. In support of that mission, we are seeking a seasoned design leader to run the Valiant Labs Design Studio. The Design Studio team includes design-thinking professionals who partner with our new businesses to help bring innovative digital service features and products to life. You aim to provide strong creative direction and mentorship to the internal design team and grow the team’s and organization’s knowledge of design practices. As Head of Design, you will set the gold standard for the Lab in human-centered design to create what’s new and next in the digital space for Nike.

What you will work on

As leader of the Design Studio Team, the Head of Design is part mentor, cheerleader, forward-thinking design professional and practitioner, with deep expertise in human centered design practices, consumer research, ideation, early prototyping and partner management. Your strengths are around coaching and motivating team members and overseeing projects powered by human-centered design. A day-in-the-life might entail meeting with members of the Design Studio Team in our daily standups to discuss work and build culture, participating in or setting strategy for consumer research, attending brainstorming sessions, planning and assigning projects. As group leader with Valiant Labs, you will be responsible for ensuring that the Design Studio’s team and work reflect the diverse and inclusive culture of Nike and Valiant Labs, setting and following annual budgets, hiring and team building, and being a true advocate for human-centered design and its application in the innovation process. You will also be responsible for managing existing and new relationships with external consultants in the design process and ensuring that they are delivering to expectations. You will lead by example, roll up your sleeves when necessary, embrace creative conflict and transform problems into additive solutions. A designer at heart, you’ll do what it takes to keep the consumer at the center of all of our work, and create a culture of creativity, psychological safety, and out-of-the-box thinking. An essential aspect of your role is managing this design process within the Valiant Labs and Nike environment which involves aligning with specific objectives, timelines, processes, and resources and balancing the needs of the consumer with the needs of the business. You will also serve as the key communicator for the Design Studio providing regular status updates, sharing insights and takeaways, and handling the critical handoff of the Design Studio’s work to the appropriate teams.

Who you will work with

You will be managing Design Studio team members, including a Design Studio project manager, and partnering with VL’s entrepreneurs-in-residence with the goal of doing the best human-centered design work of your career. From design researchers to interaction designers to brand designers, managing the multidisciplinary team requires playing to the strength and potential of each team member. You’ll also collaborate with Valiant Labs Portfolio Team members, including the Product and Tech team, to set the vision for how work gets done at VL and to tackle cross-disciplinary needs. Your partner management skills will help you build trust, respect, and credibility with internal teams and Nike business partners who are key in building and transitioning VL’s innovation work. As needed, you’ll advocate for our unique human-centered design practices and findings across extended leadership and other design teams at Nike.

What you bring
  • 8+ years of combined education and experience in design thinking/human-centered design work (as an educator, advocate, practitioner and/or operator) required.
  • Operational experience with managing budgets, allocating resources, and prioritizing projects required
  • 5+ years of managing cross functional and or design teams with growing responsibility required
  • Bachelor's degree in Design, Interactive Design, or a related field, or equivalent practical experience preferred.
  • Strong leadership, project management, and consensus-building skills
  • Expert knowledge and professional experience in human-centered design, digital product design, or design thinking via a consultancy, consumer brand or startup preferred
  • Experience with testing /early prototyping in the digital space and familiarity with the lean startup process preferred
  • Experience managing diverse functions and talent and collaborating with cross-functional teams
  • Deep experience conducting, attending or observing consumer or design research
  • Creative problem solver, comfortable with ambiguous situations and can thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • An online portfolio of work demonstrating independent-thinking, self-initiated project development, and examples of projects that push the boundaries of interaction and interface design
  • The ability to lead with empathy, kindness and curiosity

Nike requires all applicants for this position to be vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of hire. As an equal opportunity employer, Nike will make accommodations to individuals who cannot be vaccinated in accordance with applicable law.

NIKE, Inc. is a growth company that looks for team members to grow with it. Nike offers a generous total rewards package, casual work environment, a diverse and inclusive culture, and an electric atmosphere for professional development. No matter the location, or the role, every Nike employee shares one galvanizing mission: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.

NIKE, Inc. is committed to employing a diverse workforce. Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, or disability.

How We Hire

At NIKE, Inc. we promise to provide a premium, inclusive, compelling and authentic candidate experience. Delivering on this promise means we allow you to be at your best — and to do that, you need to understand how the hiring process works. Transparency is key. * This overview explains our hiring process for corporate roles. Note there may be different hiring steps involved for non-corporate roles.

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Whether it’s transportation or financial health, we continually invest in our employees to help them achieve greatness — inside and outside of work. All who work here should be able to realize their full potential.

Employee Assistance Program
Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP)
Medical Plan
Paid Time Off (PTO)
Product Discounts