IASDR 2017 Guest Speaker
Bob Schwartz joined GE Healthcare (GEHC) in December 2007 as General Manager, Global Design & User Experience. With five studios in four countries, Bob is responsible for overseeing the Global Design function encompassing human factors, industrial design, ergonomics, user-interface, environmental design, and design research. As a strategic driver of organic business growth, his team focuses on the look, feel usability and end-to-end experience of GEHC products and services. Bob is also the GE Healthcare Global Executive Sponsor of the People with Disabilities Network.
Since 2009, Global Design/UX has been the recipient of 19 medals from the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) and was listed, in 2011, by Fast Company magazine as a Corporate Design Stronghold. In 2015, Bob’s career trajectory was cited by Fast Company as among the top Chief Design Officers. In 2015 the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) named him among the 50 most notable industrial designers of the last 50 years. Bob was recently elected Chair of the Board of the Design Management Institute.
Continuously engaged in Design education throughout his career, he is a two-term member of the Board of Trustees of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and its Executive Committee and is Chair of its Academic Excellence Committee.
Bob is also a member of the Design Management Advisory Board at Northwestern University and has had similar roles at Savannah College of Art and Design and Carnegie Mellon University. Further, he has also held a design faculty appointment at the University of Cincinnati. While at P&G, Bob applied his leadership to developing the School Collaboratives Program there and has created similar relationships in his other roles with academic institutions globally.
Bob joined GEHC from Procter & Gamble, where he was a global design leader working to transform the design function there to a strategically relevant capability, which is now comprised of 350 global designers and design managers. Prior to P&G, Bob was Vice President, New Product Development, at Levolor Kirsch, a division of Newell Rubbermaid, where he brought innovation to the home decor industry. At Motorola, Bob was the Director of Design, responsible globally for all key product lines within the Commercial, Government, Industrial and Consumer Products businesses.
As Executive Director and COO for the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) Bob forged an unprecedented relationship with Business Week magazine to annually publish the Industrial Design Excellence (IDEA) awards and later the Catalyst Awards. This accomplishment led to Bob receiving a United Nations appointment to the People's Republic of China as Senior Advisor for Design. He has also testified before Congress on a Bill to establish a US Design Center in the Dept. of Commerce.
Bob was also the Director, Science and Technology Programs for AdvaMed, where he forged strong partnerships with the FDA, HCFA and Congress and lobbied and directed policy and voluntary standards research for circulatory and cardiovascular devices, healthcare information systems and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Prior to this, Bob was the head of Corporate Industrial Design and Architecture for the American Red Cross, where he implemented new nation-wide mobile blood collection, tissue banking and disaster services systems and blood center laboratory designs.
Most notably, Bob was inducted into the IDSA Academy of Fellows at the 2007 World Congress of Industrial Design, for his outstanding contributions to the industry.
Bob has a Masters degree in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, where he was a Roddy Scholar, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial & Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute.