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Heather Anne McIntosh is a writer, technology expert, and mother of five children. Heather currently works at Google in New York City, leading a global team of product designers. She has spent the past two decades serving in senior leadership roles at technology companies and teaching classes at UCLA, Harvard University and Marist College in the areas of technology, psychology and writing. In addition to work in technology, Heather writes about the topics of autism, parenting, reading and literacy. Heather has published her essays in the anthology My Dad Is My Hero: Tributes to the Men Who Gave Us Life, Love, and Driving Lessons and the Bennington Review. Heather has a BA in Computer Science and Cognitive Psychology from Boston College and an MFA in Creative Writing & Literature from Bennington College, where she studied with writers Sven Birkerts, Phillip Lopate, Susan Cheever, Dinah Lenney and Bernard Cooper.

 

AUTISM EXPERTISE

 

Three of Heather's five children previously had autism, and have since recovered. As a result, Heather spent many years immersed in the world of autism and the treatment of autism. Heather has been trained in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) by The May CenterNew England Center for Children (NECC) and The Lovaas Institute. She has attended numerous autism conferences, worked with many children and parents as an advocate and program consultant, and even lectured to the Massachusetts Senate about autism and ABA. Heather’s son Christopher appeared with Heather on 60 Minutes Australia in a segment on autism and recovery.

 

PROFESSIONAL/ TEACHING

 

Heather has worked for top technology and education companies throughout her career including her current role at Google, and prior roles at Yahoo, Symantec and Pearson Education, where she served as the company's first Chief Experience Officer. Her core expertise lies in the area of product design and she is known throughout the industry as a “change agent” and a collaborative, creative problem-solver. She is a passionate advocate for the creation of great products that solve real user needs, and has created hundreds of product experiences for a diverse set of users, devices, and industries. In addition to her day job, Heather has held university appointments at Harvard, UCLA and Marist College. She is the Primary Inventor for two patents for her work at Sun Microsystems and at Yahoo and has been retained as an expert witness in several user experience lawsuits. Heather was featured in Profiles of Women in Human Computer Interaction by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology as part of the Carnegie Mellon University’s Masters of Human-Computer Interaction. Women in the field of Human Computer Interaction who have broken through the “glass ceiling” in the industry were selected. Heather is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences in her field, and is the primary inventor on two patents.

 

EDUCATION

 

Heather holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Literature from Bennington College, as well as a BA in Computer Science and Cognitive Psychology from Boston College, where she graduated cum laude. Heather is a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society. She’s completed additional graduate work in writing at Harvard University, Boston College, Emerson College, UCLA and USC.