Valerie Fletcher is executive director of the Institute for Human Centered Design, Boston, MA. She oversees a wide range of projects including a global web-based collection of case studies of universal design in the built environment, demonstration projects for a public school and a community development initiative that pair universal design and environmental sustainability with research focused on features for people with sensory or brain-based functional issues. Fletcher lectures and writes internationally. She is the Principal Investigator for the New England ADA Center, a project of IHCD. Fletcher's career has been divided between design and public mental health. She is the former Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. She has a master's in ethics in public policy from Harvard University. The Boston Society of Architects awarded Fletcher their Woman in Design award in 2005.