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Dani Chesson, PhD

Antioch University Graduate School of Leadership and Change

Dr. Dani Chesson combines design capabilities, organizational development methodologies with the latest research in behavioral science to help organizations design and drive transformational change. A consultant in the financial services industry, Dani has worked work with international banks and Fortune 50 companies around the globe including: Bank of America, HSBC, Westpac, Bank of New Zealand, IAG, and ASB Bank. Dani has 15 years of experience leading geographically dispersed virtual teams through large-scale change efforts. Dani holds a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications with a focus on graphic design. She holds a Master of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Organizational Development from Queens University of Charlotte where her research focused on how designers approach problem solving. As part of her graduate work, Dani also completed a Certificate in Executive Coaching and explored coaching as a technique for preparing teams for change. In 2017, Dani earned her PhD in Leadership and Organizational Change from Antioch University where her research involved identifying and statistically validating the capabilities that enable design thinking. Her research resulted in the Design Thinker Profile – a validated assessment for measuring design thinking capabilities.

Educational History

  • Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Change, Antioch University 2017
  • Master of Science in Organization Development, Queens University of Charlotte 2016
  • Master of Science in Business Administration, Queens University of Charlotte 2012
  • Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication (graphic design), State University of New York, Farmingdale 2005

Chesson, D. (2018). Meeting 21st Century Organizational Challenges with Design Thinking. Organization Development Journal, 36(3), 73-81.

Chesson, D. (2017). Design Thinker Profile: Creating and Validating a Scale for Measuring Design Thinking Capabilities.

Data, Design, and the Why.Charlotte American Market Association, Charlotte, NC, May 2015. Helped participants understand how to cut through the clutter of data, avoid analysis paralysis, and make meaningful decisions using data.  (Link)

Design Thinking, So What? HR Leadership Summit, Charlotte, NC, October 2016. Shared personal research on design thinking and how organizations can help develop these capabilities in their workforce.  (Link)

Research Affiliate,

Graduate School of Leadership & Change


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