Chris Kasabach is the Director of the Thomas J. Watson Foundation and is responsible for the organization's strategy, operations, staff and programs including the Jeannette K. and Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Programs. Prior to leading the Foundation, Chris was the Director of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and managed its mission across the program's 40 partner institutions.
Chris was a Thomas J. Watson Fellow in 1991-2. His project -- an examination of the effects of American and European products in developing countries -- directly influenced his career as a designer, educator and entrepreneur. Before joining the foundation Chris co-founded several non-profit and for-profit organizations including BodyMedia Inc., an international healthcare company evolved from his team's ethnographic, design and computing research at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1990s. BodyMedia continues to shape the field of self-care health in 30 countries and operates in areas as diverse as clinical research, professional sports, space exploration, entertainment and the arts. Chris's collaborative work has been featured by the publications, museums and awards that set the standard in design, business and innovation including the New York Times, Wired, Time, Business Week, the Smithsonian/Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Vitra Museum, and two Gold International Design Excellence Awards. Over the last 20 years Chris has developed and taught courses, lectured and held workshops at the undergraduate and graduate levels in research methods, problem solving and new product and service design, in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Chris holds a Bachelors degree from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Design and a Masters degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School in Public Administration. At The Kennedy School Chris founded k*lab, an advisory group that supports Harvard and MIT graduate students with new-venture guidance by teaching "bridge" disciplines including negotiation, leadership, fundraising, research methods and ethics. He was named a Lucius N. Littauer Fellow for significant contributions to the school. Chris is a trustee of Winterhouse Institute, on the President's Advisory Board at Carnegie Mellon's School of Design and a board member of Carnegie Mellon's Athletic Association. He and his wife Vanessa are busy parents, raising their twin daughter and son.