Dr. Rachel Brooks

Rachel (full name Dr. Brooks-Ames Lachenmeier) has coached student teams as part of the design thinking program at the University of St. Gallen since September, 2015. In parallel, she works as Program Manager of Custom Programs at the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law (ES-HSG), as well as a freelance consultant and lecturer in sustainable food systems and agricultural supply chains.

Rachel has been tackling wicked problems for years, completing her doctorate at the University of St.Gallen in February of 2016. In her research, she tried to figure out why managers at a multinational corporation struggled to effectively incorporate feedback from stakeholders at the base of an agricultural supply chain when developing sustainability policies and measurement tools – and how we might construct better tools in the future. Rachel considers sustainabile food production and socially responsible sourcing from small producers in the Global South to be one of the most critical wicket problems of our time. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American and Latino/a Studies from Smith College, and a master’s degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from New York University.

Rachel first became interested in design thinking over the course of her doctoral work, when trying to figure out how to address the deeply complex web of challenges she noticed in transnational raw materials sourcing. She promptly got involved in the program at the University of St.Gallen. In addition to supporting student teams, Rachel translated Falk Uebernickel’s book, Design Thinking: Das Handbuch, into English.