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Job Title:
Innovation Design Thinker
Job ID:
Job Function:
Full/Part Time:
Job Category:
Program Administration
Washington, DC US
Business Unit:
Enterprise Strat & Innovtn Grp
Business Unit Description

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.

Summary Statement

Under the direction of the SVP, Innovation and informal leadership of the Design Thinking Director, the Innovation Design Thinker will use human-centered design (also referred to as design research or design thinking) research methodology to probe, assess and evaluate behaviors of targeted groups of people and then translate that knowledge into meaningful information and system designs to inform concepts and improve products. The incumbent will identify underlying cultural constructs and their expressions for specific groups of people, and identify the authentic connections within the ecosystem and help create breakthrough ideas.


Design Thinking Consulting

  • Define, structure, and conduct in-person ethnographic research, in person and remote usability evaluations according to targeted metrics
  • Conduct research to explore and evaluate desired experiences, analyze research data, present findings, and make prioritized design recommendations
  • Clearly communicate research findings with a strategic voice, with prioritized recommendations and potential design solutions to developers, designers, and project sponsors through visually compelling presentations and documents
  • Build a network of consumers to enable innovation research and testing for the enterprise


This position will require the ability to manage multiple projects at the same time with general oversight. This individual must demonstrate autonomy in developing day-to-day plans and executing on those plans.

This individual’s responsibilities include driving best practices on innovation to support innovation teams residing in the innovation lab, as well as the ability to communicate effectively and manage cross-functional teams innovating across the enterprise. Strong innovation knowledge, communication, and executional skills are required for this position.

Nature of Contact

This position involves engaging with stakeholders and business unit managers in an advisory capacity in identifying clear expectations for design thinking exercise and associated results.  This level of engagement will require strong coordination, communication and planning skills. This individual will regularly interact with the SVP Innovation & Product Development.


This position will have a direct impact on AARP’s success in developing innovative solutions today and in the future. Responsible for supporting teams that are bringing breakthrough solutions to market.  Additionally, this individual will have direct interaction with consumers and key high-level executives.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • A minimum of 6 years of relevant project management, innovation and operations experience required with a minimum of 2+ years’ experience in design thinking.
  • Ability to demonstrate organizational skills and possess a clear understanding of the convergent and divergent phases of an innovating process to be able to inspire and support innovation teams and startups in a meaningful way.
  • This role requires a strong passion for innovation, a high level of comfort navigating ambiguous and unregimented opportunities and attention to detail. This individual is highly personable, empathetic, inquisitive, and analytical and uses these skills to inspire others, consult and guide individuals utilizing innovation tools and manage the resources needed in the innovation lab.  

Additional Requirements:

  • Event and partner management skills a plus

Benefits Offered

 AARP offers competitive benefits with a 401K, 100% company funded pension plan, health, dental, vision and life insurance, STD/LTD, paid vacation and sick, and other benefits.

Equal Employment Opportunity

AARP is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture.  AARP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

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