Anna N. Roberts

A questioner, a tinkerer, a conversation starter, a creative wrangler.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Email me here

Professional Experience

I craft solutions from ambiguity; a talent honed over 15 years of engaging customers and leading creative teams. To find that clarity I develop careful understanding of problem spaces and the users who those spaces impact, and combine that with cross-disciplinary collaboration that brings about really meaningful ideas. I am passionate about:
Developing & Executing Meaningful Strategy – Building plans that empower people to make good decisions.
Leading People – Cultivating creative people and teams who shine together.
Innovation in Education – Tackling hard problems in our education system by exploring untried spaces, often with games and technology.

Product Manager for The Alice Project, Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology Ctr.    (2015)
The Alice Project has a long legacy that began with Randy Pausch nearly 20 years ago. Currently funded by grants from Oracle, the program serves teachers and students across the globe, teaching computer programming through the creation of 3D animations and virtual worlds.

Over my five month contract, I am working to revitalize The Alice Project – engaging its team, users and supporters in:

  • discovering the story of Alice’s next chapter;
  • creating product and organizational strategies that will help them bring that story to life; and
  • finding advocates and avenues for funding that will take this project into the future.

Director of Working Examples, Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology Ctr.    (2012 – 2015)
At Working Examples, I turned a big, theoretical idea into an exciting community of innovators who are changing education and a platform for their collaboration that “houses some of the most cutting edge work in the field”. That transformation was realized through the development of a shared vision, engaged users, intense collaborations and iterating like crazy. A few of my key accomplishments include:

  • Leading a highly collaborative design and development process, resulting in a site that our users consistently said is beautiful, intuitive and easy to use.
  • Growing the skills, creativity and confidence of a cross-disciplinary team.
  • Leading my team and community members in the discovery and realization of Working Examples’ best uses and its potential and actual value.
  • Realizing consistent, grassroots site growth over three years.
  • Developing a national network of partners, mentors and advocates in education technology and games.
  • Effectively managing $1.8 million in grants, working under budget all three years.
  • Recruiting, managing and engaging our organization’s board of respected advisors.
  • Speaking nationally about innovation, design strategy and collaboration.

Marketing and Management Consultant    (2007 to 2012)
In my consulting work, I collaborated with my clients to solve problems and elevate their businesses through a variety of organizational, marketing, communications and design solutions. A few of my key accomplishments include:

  • Excellent work and client service resulting in 90% of projects coming from repeat clients.
  • Successfully managing deadline-driven, multidisciplinary project teams of up to 30 people.
  • Developing a firm’s internal writing and design style guide that was adopted nationally.
  • Photography and copywriting appearing in national advertising campaigns in South Africa.
  • Departmental and policy design at the corporate and regional level.
  • Developing new and existing branding elements: brand promise, brand strategy, visual and written.
  • Coaching managers on management best practices and getting the best from their teams.

Here are some of my clients: Parsons Brinckerhoff, THA Architecture, FFA Architecture, DCI Engineers, Culinary Equipment Company, Studio X Fitness, Taurus Capital Management

Marketing Manager, Waterleaf Architecture    (2005 to 2007)
At Waterleaf, I led marketing efforts across eight market segments, working with the firm’s leadership and design staff to guide our marketing and business development efforts, as well as our internal organizational and talent strategies. This work was accomplished by:

  • Elevating our brand experience through strategy, design, voice and client experiences.
  • Creating a more client-focused approach to business development and marketing strategy that led to an 80% success rate on client proposals.
  • Connecting with clients and local stakeholders through creative approaches to strategy.
  • Successfully managing deadline-driven, multidisciplinary project teams of up to 15 people.

Marketing Manager, James D. Graham & Associates    (2004 to 2005)
I was this company’s first marketer, working closely with the firm’s leadership and engineers to build and implement more effective marketing communications and strategies.

  • Developed all of our new branch office’s marketing materials (design and copywriting).
  • Redesigned company’s website (design and copywriting).

Marketing Coordinator & Office Manager, DCI Engineers    (2000 to 2004)
I was DCI Engineers Portland’s office’s first marketer and office manager, collaborating with numerous corporate departments to support our office’s work.

  • Developed all of our new branch office’s marketing collateral (design and copywriting).
  • Redesigned DCI’s corporate website (design and copywriting).
  • Acted as liaison for corporate finance and local project accounting.
  • Acted as liaison for corporate HR, supporting employee engagement and onboarding.


Carnegie Mellon University, Master of Public Management
May 2011, Highest Distinction
Concentration: Organizational Management and Creativity
Capstone Project: Future of Leadership in Creative Industries

Portland State University, B.S. Business Administration: Marketing
June 2009

Continuing Education
New York University, User Experience Design Certificate
July 2015 (estimated completion)

Luma Institute, Innovation Through Human-Centered Design
July 2013


Extra Curriculars

Carnegie Mellon University, Entertainment Technology Center, Guest Lecturer
     Introduction to Game Design – Approaches to Design Strategy (2014)
     Building Virtual Worlds – Approaches to Design Strategy (2014)
     Semester Student Projects – Design Strategy Workshops (2012 – 2014)
     Semester Student Projects – Design Strategy Consulting (2012 – 2014)
     Production Management – Managing Creative Teams (2012)
SXSWedu Conference
     Failure Is Our Friend: Embracing the Messy Bits (2014)
Games+Learning+Society Conference
     Building a Foundation for Impactful Work – A Design Jam (2014)
     Working Examples Track, Moderator (2014)
     Working Examples: Come play with us! (2013)
Digital Media and Learning Conference
     Connecting Practices – The Building Blocks for Connection, Moderator  (2014)
     Working Examples: New and Improved (2012)

Volunteerism & Professional Societies
“Now I Get It!” Transformational Game Jam, Event Designer (2015)
Games+Learning+Society Conference, Executive Committee (2014)
International Games Developers Association (2011-2013)
Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, Young Professionals Advisory Board (2011-2012)
Society for Marketing Professional Services (2002-2010)
     Roundtable Facilitator (2006 – 2009)
     Mentorship Program, Mentor (2005 – 2008)
     Oregon Chapter Board of Directors, Director of Education (2004 – 2005)
     Education Committee, Chair (2003 – 2004)
Artist Mentorship Program (2007-2009)

Games+Learning+Society Conference 10.0 Proceedings, Building a Foundation for Impactful Work – A Design Jam (2014)
Games+Learning+Society Conference 9.0 Proceedings,
Working Examples: Come play with us! (2013)
Education Technology Magazine, Working Examples: A Vehicle for Building Radical Innovation (2013)