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Anita Marie Salem

Faculty Associate - Research

Phone: (831) 277-6616


Anita Salem is a design researcher with extensive experience in human-centered design. She works in the public and private sectors helping to integrate human concerns into the development of new processes, policies, and technologies. Anita received her Master degree from the University of Washington in Human-Centered Design and Engineering in 1997. Since then, she has taught user experience design, information design, and design research methods at the University of Washington and the Naval Postgraduate School.

Before coming to the Naval Postgraduate School, Anita conducted user research for established companies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Getty Images, Cisco Systems, AT&T, and the State of Washington. She also helped technology start-ups establish their product and customer strategies, using human-centered design processes. Since joining NPS in 2007, Anita has worked with United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Department of Defense leaders in integrating human systems research into the design of their organization and technology strategies.
  • MS - University of Washington 1997
NPS Experience
  • 2007 - current: Faculty Associate - Research
Other Experience
  • 1997 Design Researcher, SalemSystems
  • 1992 - 1997 Communications Researcher/Engineer, University of Washington
Research Interests
Technology Adoption & Organizational Change
Human-Centered & Participatory Design
Strategic Communication & Organizational Effectiveness
Teaching Interests
SE 3021: Engineering Systems Conceptualization (NPS 2015, 2017). Graduate course in problem identification and conceptual design with consideration of stakeholder capability, market, or opportunity and includes systems thinking and project management.University of Washington, Department of Human-Centered Design
TC 318: Survey of User Experience Design (University of Washington, 2002-2005) Undergraduate course integrating qualitative research and system design.
TC 518: User-Centered Design (University of Washington, 2003) Graduate course in design research methods.

Short Courses
Strategic Planning for Execution (2009-present). Center for Executive Education. Facilitated workshops on strategic planning for Navy and DoD leadership.
Strategic Communication (2009-present) Center for Executive Education. Facilitated strategic communication planning for Navy and DoD leadership.
Navy Leadership Courses. Center for Executive Education. 2010-present Coached Navy leadership in improving communication and management skills.
Innovation Workshops. Center for Executive Education 2011 Taught a short course on innovation through contextual design
Problem Solving: Interviewing Techniques for Qualitative Research Presenting a model for interviewing that positions the research as participatory problem solving.
Research Methods: Field Studies and Contextual Interviewing Exploring methods for studying people in context--working, living, playing.
Technical writing: Offering tools and techniques for clear writing that focuses on audience goals, plain language, information architecture.
System Design: Presenting a process for defining human system requirements based on direct input from system users.

Boards, Memberships, & Certifications

Professional Memberships
  • 2007 Board Member, Assoc. for Professional Communication Consultants
  • 2007 - 2009 Board Member, Family Thrive, Marina, CA
  • 2003 - 2005 Board Member, Puget Sound Computer-Human Interaction
  • 2001 Volunteer, American Red Cross
Licensures and Certifications
  • 2018 Hacking for Defense Educator, H4Di Department of Defense
  • 2016 Change Management Professional, ProSci Intl.

Scholarly Work