Cheryl Heller

Founding Chair + President Design for Social Innovation, SVA + CommonWise

Cheryl is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at New York’s School of Visual Arts and President of the design lab CommonWise. She was recently awarded a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellowship, and is a recipient of the prestigious AIGA Medal for her contribution to the field of design. She founded the first design department in a major advertising agency and as President, grew the division to $50 million in billings when it was spun off as an independent entity. As a strategist, she has helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated moribund cultures, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs. Her clients have included Ford Motor Company, American Express, Reebok, Marriott International, Renaissance Hotels, Sheraton, Stora Enso, Pfizer, Cemex, Herman Miller, Gap, Bayer Corporation, Seventh Generation, L’Oreal, The World Wildlife Fund, and the Girl Scouts of America. Cheryl is the former Board Chair of PopTech, and a Senior Fellow at the Babson Social Innovation Lab. 

Everything in life depends on relationships, and relationships depend on open and trusting communication, which can be designed.