Design-Lab Schools team members are experts in leadership, business, education, creativity, and philanthropy. Applying our mastery to your school or business will help you solve your challenges and meet your goals.

Meet some of our featured experts...

Cristina C. Alvarez, Ed.D.

Cristina C. Alvarez Portrait

Dr. Cristina C. Alvarez is Chief Executive Officer of Design-Lab Schools LLC, a consulting firm for curriculum, school design, leadership development, and systems improvement. Design-Lab Schools’ signature curriculum is being implemented in the commercial trucking industry.

Dr. Alvarez co-founded Delaware Design-Lab High School and was on the team for the XQ Super School Project contest, a national movement to reimagine high schools for the future. In 2016, they were awarded a $10 million grant to create an XQ Super School.

Dr. Alvarez is a serial entrepreneur who founded successful companies in the graphic arts and engineering. She advises districts, universities and companies on using Design Thinking to increase academic achievement, productivity, and market share.

Her leadership of Philadelphia’s Charter High School for Architecture + Design (CHAD) informed Daniel Pink’s, A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. CHAD is featured as an innovative school using Design thinking to innovate learning.

The American Institute of Architects invited Dr. Alvarez to judge the 2016 Educational Facilities Awards, given to excellent educational facilities from a global applicant pool. She also served on the jury for Learning By Design 2016 educational architecture and interior design awards.


Dr. Alvarez is bilingual and bicultural, with native fluency in English and Spanish. She holds K-12 Administrators’ and Superintendent licenses is a LeadershipPhiladelphia alumnus, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, a Masters in Educational Administration from Temple University, and a Doctorate in Educational and Organizational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Alvarez serves on the UPenn Graduate School of Education Mid-Career Alumni Council.

Victor C. Young

Victor C. Young Portrait

Victor C. Young brings expertise in the sciences, policy, curriculum, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Educated as a mechanical engineer and physicist, Mr. Young served as a teacher, foundation executive, and advisor to superintendents, policy makers, and corporate and nonprofit CEOs. These are skills that enrich his role as Managing Director of VCY Stratagem LLC, helping non-profits, governments and philanthropic leaders to develop and deliver effective, scalable and sustainable solutions to social problems.

Mr. Young served as the senior program officer for pre-collegiate education at the Cleveland Foundation, senior staff consultant for education at the Rockefeller Foundation (NYC) and advisor to philanthropies. He founded St. Philip’s Academy (now Phillip’s Academy Charter School), in Newark, NJ. He started and launched the Stark Education Partnership (Canton OH), one of the country’s first K-16 county-wide partnerships. At Phillips Academy in Andover MA, he served as director of the Math and Science for Minority Students Program, an early STEM program for minority youth. Mr. Young has led nonprofits with budgets up to $20M. He led a consulting group serving USAID, the Department for International Development (DFID) in the U.K. and philanthropies such as the Heinz Endowments, Ford, Stuart, and Rockefeller Foundations.

As a social entrepreneur, Mr. Young secured millions of dollars in capital for nonprofits and social ventures. As a public speaker, he has addressed the Council on Foundations, National Public Radio writers and producers, the board of trustees of the Ford Foundation, and the Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, to name a few.

Victor C. Young is a graduate of St. Paul’s School in Concord NH, holds a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, an Ed.M. in administration, social policy and planning from Harvard University, and has completed doctoral studies in management at Harvard. Mr. Young serves on the board of trustees of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation.

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