About Anke

Anke Stohlmann is a design leader, educator, and entrepreneur who is dedicated to developing human-centered products and services that are effective and equitable. She has over 20 years of experience building and scaling products and leading healthy cross-functional teams.

Anke currently serves at Nava, a public interest technology company dedicated to designing digital government services that are simple, effective, and accessible to all. In her dual role as design manager and design lead, she supports 5 designers/researchers and co-leads the cross-functional cloud.cms.gov team.

She is also the founder of Li’l Stories, a student-centered language arts framework that leverages the power of storytelling to foster creativity, collaboration, and digital literacy in the elementary school classroom. Anke developed Li’l Stories as part of her thesis project in the MFA Interaction Design program at SVA. She launched Li’l Stories in early 2016 with the help of 140 Kickstarter backers. Li’l Stories’ mission is to prepare students to be thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators.

Recent Highlights

  • Currently, as design lead on Nava’s cms.cloud.gov team, Anke leads and ships product development for cloud.cms.gov. The team scaled cloud.cms.gov from 4 pages to 150+ pages, updated the design,  systematized the site, and developed an authenticated experience, turning the site into the go-to place for customers for all things CMS Cloud.
  • In 2019, Anke served as senior fellow at the Public Policy Lab and led the Benefits Access Phase II project team. In partnership with the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Community Schools (OCS) and with the participation of 21 Community Schools, the team developed Benefits Access, a strategy and toolkit that supports school staff in referring families to public benefits and local services.
  • From 2016 to 2019, Li’l Stories ran storytelling labs at public elementary schools throughout New York City with a focus on Title 1 schools, helping more than 500 students develop critical 21st century skills.
  • In 2014, Anke was part of the Red Hook volunteer team for the The AIGA Design/Relief initiative. The team developed The Hub, a public communications system that successfully informs, connects, and engages the Red Hook community.

Past Experiences

Prior to Nava, Anke was the principal and creative director of Li’l Robin, a strategic design consultancy that worked at the intersection of digital and print, creating brand identity systems, publications, and websites for clients including LIFE Books, The New York Times, Pratt Institute, The School of Visual Arts, and Sterling Publishing.

Before establishing Li’l Robin, Anke held positions at several of New York’s leading agencies in graphic design and publishing, including creative director at Time Inc. Custom Publishing; founding art director at eDesign Magazine; and senior designer at Pentagram. For many years, Anke was on the faculty of the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media department at SVA, where she co-taught a photography book design course with a focus on eBooks.

Anke has been honored with numerous design awards, including gold and silver medals from the Society for Publication Designers. From 2008 to 2010 Anke served on the board of directors of the AIGA New York Chapter, where she led a monthly speaker series on the business of design. She was also involved in the AIGA/NY Design/Relief project and part of the Red Hook Team.


Anke Stohlmann studied Visual Communications at the Fachhochschule Düsseldorf, Germany, and holds a Masters Degree in Design Management from Pratt Institute in New York and a Masters Degree in Interaction Design from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York.