SL (Shree Lakshmi) Rao

Director Research + Strategy


SL (Shree Lakshmi) Rao (she/they) is an equity-centered system change designer with experience across sectors (tech, philanthropy, global health, and government) and a background in Interaction Design. They work to (re)design systems with a strong racial equity, and social justice mindset. They currently lead Substantial’s equity-centered design work in education as the Director of Research + Strategy and have prior experience leading end-to-end product design. Their practice is grounded in trauma-informed design research, targeted universalism, co-design, and complex systems theory. They are a strong proponent of evolving the design practice to be anti-racist, decolonized, and systems-thinking oriented. They are South Asian, a chai brewing enthusiast and climber.