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About Mark

Mark Mount Hood.jpg

From Northwest Academia to Silicon Valley

I started my career in academia earning a doctorate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oregon based on ethnographic research of Kundalini Yoga practitioners in the US, and a Taoist Folk Sect in Taiwan. I still maintain somewhat of an academic presence and you can see that side of my life here.


My love of technology, creativity, innovation, and practical research impact led me away from academia to Applied Anthropology in Silicon Valley in the Fall of 2000.


As a practicing social scientist for over two decades, I've had the opportunity to work in software, architecture, and product design firms where I've honed my craft as a design researcher, strategist, and innovation catalyst. I was trained as an ethnographer which means I'm always thinking holistically, questioning assumptions, trying to encourage empathy, probing for insight, and helping expand people's imaginations. 


I love to provide insights to teams and inspire them with co-creation activities that help them improve their design and product experiences based on empathy and understanding of their users. I have a full suite of UX Research and design thinking practices that can help teams understand user needs, frame problems, brainstorm solutions, and test ideas. I'm also a skilled facilitator of design sprints with cross-functional teams both remotely and in person.

In my spare time, I love to practice Kundalini Yoga, Qi Gong, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and spend as much time as I can outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


  • Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Oregon 1999

  • MA Anthropology, University of Oregon 1994.

  • BA Economics (Honors), University of California Irvine - 1991

  • UX/UI Design Fundamentals Certificate - BLOC 2017

Sample Experience

  • Senior UX Researcher, User Testing 2019 - Current

  • Lead Design Researcher Upwork 2016-2019

  • Senior Design Researcher Cisco 2014-2016

  • Senior User Researcher Paypal 2012-2014

  • Senior User Researcher Yahoo 2011-2012

  • Freelance UX Research Consultant 2009-2011

  • Design Researcher & Strategist Jump 2006-2009

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