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Sr. Director, Innovation UX Researcher

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

The Northwestern Mutual Innovation team is primarily focused on discovering, experimenting, and building new, industry disruptive opportunities that have the potential to capitalize on changing consumer behaviors over the next 3-10 years. Additionally, every member of the team is empowered to invest in, and partner closely with, external startups that we believe are poised for exponential growth. The team is composed of VCs, founders with multiple exits, and seasoned operators from the likes of Brex, Plaid, Twitter, Eventbrite, and even the White House.

This role provides the rare opportunity to ignite change and disrupt the industry across a multitude of markets, with a specific focus on the future of web3, FinTech, InsurTech, and across Health & Wellness. The role provides all the energy and autonomy of building an early-stage startup, but with the stability and resources backed by a Fortune 100 company.

The Role

Explore, Identify, and develop new forms of consumer engagement that deliver against consumer problems / needs within identified opportunity spaces. Lead critical research efforts and conduct studies that deepen our understanding of the user experience and drive product strategy Work in a highly collaborative fashion as a strategic partner to the team to ground our decisions in user needs and insights Prioritize research needs and approaches across multiple work streams to work on the right project, scale, and scope at the right time and ensure impact by delivering actionable insights Source and manage research partners (startups, agencies) or vendors as needed to help augment our work Disseminate research insights to evolve and enhance our understanding of user needs and identify innovative opportunities to meet those needs.


The Skills

  • Essential ways of working: Ability to take initiative, work independently, and deliver results.

  • Can conduct complex research and demonstrate the use of a variety of research methods, which may include qualitative interviews, surveys, ideation sessions, ethnographic field research, usability evaluation, and diary studies. You might be a mixed-methods researcher, however your strength is in qualitative research

  • Have 3+ years relevant user research experience working on digital experiences and specialize in generating actionable insights that drive impact

  • Can lead, design, execute, and communicate impactful research in a fast-paced, earlier stage product development process and know how to integrate research into product and design roadmaps

  • Have a desire to do hands-on research on an early-stage team, from planning and recruiting to analysis and insights delivery

  • Tell compelling stories and are skilled in explaining your work, process, and decisions to cross-functional stakeholders and crave feedback to help you produce your best work

  • Have excellent written and verbal communication skills and use them effectively

  • Relentlessly focus on users and solving for their needs and wants. You put users first and have experience driving impact from insights

  • Can balance working with urgency and focus with methodological rigor and adapt as needed for the situation

  • Internalize the best ideas from across the team, humbly setting a vision that others are excited to get behind

  • Desire to work autonomously. Prefer simple solutions and designs over complex ones, and have a good intuition for what will last and scale

  • Enjoy working with a diverse group of people with different areas of expertise.

  • Bonus Points: A strong mastery of HTML/CSS/JS.

If you don’t tick every box above, we’d still encourage you to apply. We’re building a diverse team whose skills balance and complement one another.


Grow your career with a best-in-class company that puts our client’s interests at the center of all we do. Get started now!

W e are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you work or would be working in Colorado or outside of a Corporate location, please click here for information pertaining to compensation and benefits.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.