Principal UX designer at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

CK-Portrait3

About me
Prior to the Gates Foundation, I worked at MAYA Design as well as startups and innovation labs in Seattle, WA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Kampala, Uganda. I am a passionate speaker, workshop facilitator, and mentor who is committed to design advocacy and uplifting our next generation of design leaders.

I get positive feedback about my ability to thrive in ambiguity, my bias for action, and my insightful approach to collaboration. I am an adaptable and confident design leader who values trust, radical candor, and continuous learning. I create collaborative, inclusive, and innovative environments. In my free time, I enjoy mentoring, making art, and eating cheese.

 Specialties
+ Ambiguous projects in complex domains
+ Growing organizational design maturity
+ Design workshop facilitation
+ Charming storytelling
+ Relationship building
+ Service design
+ Innovation 

👋  Get in touch
View my resumé (.pdf)
Let's connect on
Linkedin
Reach me via ckleid@gmail.com

360° Feedback from colleagues

“Cara has a confidence that doesn’t require her to dominate a room in order to influence. She also has a warmth and understanding that disarms and immediately creates a safe space of collaboration, while unapologetically offering up her expertise and recommendations.”
– Head of Product, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation



“Cara has strong interpersonal skills in how she leads her team and how she engages with leads from other workstreams (i.e., Engineering and PMs). Cara has such an empathic and observant personality that leads to her championing her team and catering how she leads based on each individual’s needs. I’ve seen this in action, especially as new team members joined and had to acclimate to a new way working across multiple teams with their own unique challenges.”
– Head of Product, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation



”Cara has done a really great job in building process within her UX team. This standardization has added clarity in how/when to engage design and what to expect, which is crucial as we continue to move at a fast pace to deliver our goals. Cara balances this empathy/warmth with high expectations to ensure her team is delivering high-quality work. Her initiative in pushing her team to continually improve is encouraging and allows me to lead my team with confidence, knowing she’s doing the same thing on her end.”
– Senior Product Manager, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

"In one word, Cara is masterful. She’s masterful at being planful and organized, at leading a complex effort with multiple stakeholders, at deeply listening to everyone from peers to stakeholders, and obviously as a product designer. She has this incredible gift of using tangible design methods and proven practices while implementing them with a deeply intuitive and empathic sense that can only come from years of experience."
– Senior Product Manager, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

"Happiness, humor, and cheerful attitude — Cara has a can-do attitude, and it is infectious. Her work ethic is inspirational."
– Sr. Product Designer, Varsity Tutors

"Cara constantly surprises me with innovative ways of looking at problems, cuts to the bone of issues from customer viewpoint."
– Engineering Sr. Manager, Varsity Tutors

"Cara puts the customer first and very thoughtful about a simple and efficient design that is informed by engineering...she doesn't overcomplicate, is highly collaborative with product and engineering, and her work reflects the team's efforts. When appropriate, she will hold her ground if the team is headed down a path she knows is not going to be a good pattern. I find her to be an industry expert and highly relevant."
– Senior Product Manager, Varsity Tutors