Hire me to grow and upskill your design team

I'm on the job market! I feel recharged after traveling around the world with my family for a few months - everybody should take a sabbatical if they can! I miss creating impactful things with brilliant people, though, so it's time for me to find my next role. It will probably look like a director level role in design leadership, but I'm open to all interesting conversations.

About Me

I’ve lived two professional lives - my first act was in game development where I was a design leader on both the highest selling PC game of all time (The Sims) and the highest rated XBOX game of all time (BioShock).  For the past ten years I’ve been design leader in tech, where I’ve led design at Khan Academy and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

I’ve lived two professional lives - my first act was in game development where I was a design leader on both the highest selling PC game of all time (The Sims) and the highest rated XBOX game of all time (BioShock).  For the past ten years I’ve been design leader in tech, where I’ve led design at Khan Academy and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

I've led design orgs from 3 people to 55, and every size in between. Protecting, inspiring, and managing designers is what gets me up in the morning.

I'm an adventurer at heart - I love tackling new challenges, learning about new product areas, and bringing my varied experiences to new areas. This post-pandemic AI-fueled tech revolution is really exciting to me! The world is changing and I'm excited to help figure out what's next.

I’ve lived two professional lives - my first act was in game development where I was a design leader on both the highest selling PC game of all time (The Sims) and the highest rated XBOX game of all time (BioShock).  For the past ten years I’ve been design leader in tech, where I’ve led design at Khan Academy and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

I've led design orgs from 3 people to 55, and every size in between. Protecting, inspiring, and managing designers is what gets me up in the morning.

Some of my Superpowers

  • Cross functional communication and collaboration. I’ve been both a PM and Engineer - this helps me create empathy between my design teams and the other teams in the organization.

  • Design hiring & org design. Hiring the right people and organizing them properly takes experience. Over the past 20 years I’ve had lots of reps, and it’s one of the things I truly love.

  • Execution that’s both fast and good. With the right processes in place you don’t have to sacrifice quality to get speed. 

  • Retention and growth. I have about 4x as many promotions on my teams as I’ve had voluntary departures. Growing your internal team is hard, but always worth it.

  • Genuinely caring about the people around me. 

  • Creating a safe space for creative people to be truly creative.

  • Helping unstick product or people challenges that somehow became “unfixable.” 

  • Deescalating situations where emotions have gotten in the way of productivity.

  • Cross functional communication and collaboration. I’ve been both a PM and Engineer - this helps me create empathy between my design teams and the other teams in the organization.

  • Design hiring & org design. Hiring the right people and organizing them properly takes experience. Over the past 20 years I’ve had lots of reps, and it’s one of the things I truly love.

  • Execution that’s both fast and good. With the right processes in place you don’t have to sacrifice quality to get speed. 

  • Retention and growth. I have about 4x as many promotions on my teams as I’ve had voluntary departures. Growing your internal team is hard, but always worth it.

  • Genuinely caring about the people around me. 

  • Creating a safe space for creative people to be truly creative.

  • Helping unstick product or people challenges that somehow became “unfixable.” 

  • Deescalating situations where emotions have gotten in the way of productivity.

What I'm looking for in a role

I'm open to working on many different types of teams and products, but there are a few product areas that I find really interesting. If you’re working on these, let’s talk:

  • Tools that help creative people create. Photoshop, Figma, Revit, Maya… What you create is only as good as the software it was created in. I'd be excited to work on that creative software. 

  • Tools that help teams run smoothly. Jira, Gmail, Notion, Trello, Google Sheets… I'm an ops-minded leader, and thrive when I can pick and customize the tools my team uses to track/execute. I’d love to work on the tools themselves.

  • Artificial Intelligence or Robotics. My degree’s in AI, and we have just entered a renaissance for the field. I'd love to use some of my training and history in the field!

  • Hairy, complicated, internal collaboration teams inside large organizations. Trust teams, security teams, Design Systems… I find the challenges of maneuvering large orgs really compelling, and internal-support teams tend to need the type of growth-focused leadership I bring.


I'd like to narrow my search to roles that are based in San Francisco, the Peninsula, or Remote: I'm a San Franciscan through and through, and not open to relocation. Happy to travel, though, and I believe remote work can be just as fruitful as in-person for most teams.

How to get in touch

You can email me directly at setholshfski@gmail.com, or find me on LinkedIn. Please feel invited to share this page with your network!

©️2023 Seth Olshfski. All Rights Reserved.

©️2023 Seth Olshfski. All Rights Reserved.