the executive board

The Council’s Members appoint the Executive Board to represent them through a democratic process during the biennial General Assembly. The Board is responsible for the management of the business of the Council between general meetings and answers directly to the Members.

The Board consists of individuals who have been selected for their geographical representation, expertise in a variety of design disciplines and experience within professional, educational and promotional entities. Members of the Executive Board serve in a volunteer capacity, donating their time and expertise to further the Council’s mandate.

  • Johnathon Strebly

    Johnathon Strebly

    President

    Johnathon Strebly is the former Director of Creative Services for HCMA Architecture + Design. Mr Strebly was founder of the Canadian brand strategy and communications agency The Notice Group and is the National Past President and National Ethics Chair of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) and past President of the Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators (CAPIC) Vancouver. He is also a co-founder of CreativeMornings Vancouver. As a design director, mentor, and creativity community advocate, Mr Strebly engages with the design industry directly through curriculum design, advisory committees, and programming for design agencies and educational institutions.

  • Daniela Piscitelli

    Daniela Piscitelli

    Secretary General

    Daniela Piscitelli is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, an Italian research university founded in 1991 where she leads the Visual Communic-ethic Code Lab a research thinktank on design ethics, the centrality of communication design for new emergencies, and tool-building imagining alternative models for knowledge acquisition. Ms Piscitelli’s research interests are concentrated in the area of communication design, with a focus on emerging cultures within Asia and Africa. She is a former President of the Associazione Italiana Design della Comunicazione Visiva (the Italian Association of Visual Communication) and former Vice-President of PoliDesign (founded by Politechnico di Milano). Currently, she is a member of the Executive Board of Sid, the Italian Scientific Society of Design; Coordinator of the Thematic Commission on Visual Communication of the ADI Design Index, and World Regional Representative for the International Institute for Information Design (IIID). Previously, Ms Piscitelli served on the 2017-2019 ICoD Executive Board as Vice President.

  • Rebecca Blake

    Rebecca Blake

    Treasurer

    United States
    rblake@theicod.org

    Rebecca Blake is Design Director at Optimum Design & Consulting in New York City and Advocacy Liaison for the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG). Ms. Blake’s role at the Guild is to monitor legislation on copyrights and policy relevant to graphic artists, and to work with a coalition of associations on advocacy for visual artists. Previously, Ms Blake served as the Guild’s New York Chapter President and Chapter Treasurer. Ms. Blake has also served on the International Council of Design Audit Committee and as the National Design Policy Workgroup lead.

  • Essam Abu Awad (1958-2021)

    Essam Abu Awad (1958-2021)

    Vice President

    Jordan
    N/A

    Tragically Essam passed away in April 2021. He is sorely missed by colleagues and friends around the world (see our ‘In Memoriam’). Essam Abu Awad was Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Applied Science Private University (ASU), a pioneer institution for art and social design education in Jordan since its establishment in1992. Mr Abu Awad had been active in the international design community representing his home organisation at the International Council of Design, the International Institute for Information Design (IIID), and Cumulus. Mr Abu Awad was the Founding President of the Middle East Design Educators Association (MEDEA).

  • Jonas Liugaila

    Jonas Liugaila

    Vice President

    Jonas Liugaila a design strategist at CRITICAL, a design agency he co-founded in Lithuania. Mr Liugaila is currently a professor at Vilnius Academy of Arts, and serves as a board member of the Lithuanian Design Association. He is an experienced art director, lecturer, has conducted numerous workshops, presentations and has an extensive international publishing record.

  • Zinnia Nizar

    Zinnia Nizar

    Vice President

    Indonesia
    znizar@theicod.org

    Zinnia Nizar is a professor of design at the Apple Developer Academy, and was recently selected to teach the Apple Distinguished Educator class of 2019. Ms Nizar joined the Indonesia Graphic Designer Association in 2009 and from 2014–2017 acted as their President during which period she helped establish the Indonesia Agency for Creative Economy (BEKRAF)—a body currently on its way to achieving Ministry status in Indonesia. Ms Nizar holds degrees in graphic design from The Art Institute of Seattle and the School of Visual Arts. Having begun her career working for magazines, she continues to be among the few designers sought out for editorial design in Indonesia today.

  • Ting Xu

    Ting Xu

    Vice President

    Ting Xu is Secretary-General of the Shenzhen Culture, Creativity & Design Association (SCCDA)—a para-governmental non-profit body commissioned by the Shenzhen municipal government to manage and brand ‘the City of Design’ programme. SCCDA is the focal point for UNESCO Creative Cities Network programme, maintaining liaison with UNESCO and other creative cities around the world. In this role, Mr Xu is involved in the organisation of the government-sponsored Shenzhen Design Week and the Shenzhen Global Design Award (SDA). In cooperation across creative sectors between Shenzhen and other cities around the world, SDPA facilitates design education and student exchange programmes. Mr Xu was the Co-Curator of the 2nd and 3rd HK–SZ Design Biennales  and Curator of the HK–SZ Creative Furniture Exhibition.

  • Chao Zhao

    Chao Zhao

    Vice President

    Chao Zhao is Deputy Dean of the Academy of Arts and Design, Deputy Dean of the Art and Science Research Institute, Chair of Industrial Design Department, Director of Healthcare Design Lab in Tsinghua University. Dr Zhao is also the Secretary-General of the Design Disciplinary Teaching Steering Committee of the Ministry of Education of China. Dr Zhao holds a ‘Distinguished Professor Award’ and has an extensive and distinguished design-related publication record in international journals and conferences. Dr Zhao has won the ‘Red Dot Award’, the National Design Award, an Australia Excellent Alumni Award, a Top Ten Chinese Young Designer Award, and the New Century China Talents Award.

  • Michelle Renee

    Michelle Renee

    Board Member

    Vice President of Creative Strategy for the Vancouver office of NATIONAL Public Relations, Michelle Renee is a creative and strategic thinker with more than 20 years of experience as an art director and communications strategist. Ms Renee has helped develop creative campaigns across all sectors in both digital and print environments.

    Ms Renee is a graduate of the Sauder School of Business Ch’nook Aboriginal Business Education program, as well as a graduate of Grant MacEwan University’s Illustration and Visual Communications program. She is also a proud member of the Tzeachten First Nation in Chilliwack, BC. In 2020, Ms Renee was awarded BC’s Medal for Good Citizenship for her advocacy for the rights of transgender youth, and she is a regular public speaker on the importance of supporting trans kids. She is also a member of AVENIR GLOBAL’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, and the City of Delta’s Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism.

  • Johnathon Strebly

    Johnathon Strebly

    President

    Johnathon Strebly is the former Director of Creative Services for HCMA Architecture + Design. Mr Strebly was founder of the Canadian brand strategy and communications agency The Notice Group and is the National Past President and National Ethics Chair of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) and past President of the Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators (CAPIC) Vancouver. He is also a co-founder of CreativeMornings Vancouver. As a design director, mentor, and creativity community advocate, Mr Strebly engages with the design industry directly through curriculum design, advisory committees, and programming for design agencies and educational institutions.

  • Daniela Piscitelli

    Daniela Piscitelli

    Secretary General

    Daniela Piscitelli is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, an Italian research university founded in 1991 where she leads the Visual Communic-ethic Code Lab a research thinktank on design ethics, the centrality of communication design for new emergencies, and tool-building imagining alternative models for knowledge acquisition. Ms Piscitelli’s research interests are concentrated in the area of communication design, with a focus on emerging cultures within Asia and Africa. She is a former President of the Associazione Italiana Design della Comunicazione Visiva (the Italian Association of Visual Communication) and former Vice-President of PoliDesign (founded by Politechnico di Milano). Currently, she is a member of the Executive Board of Sid, the Italian Scientific Society of Design; Coordinator of the Thematic Commission on Visual Communication of the ADI Design Index, and World Regional Representative for the International Institute for Information Design (IIID). Previously, Ms Piscitelli served on the 2017-2019 ICoD Executive Board as Vice President.

  • Rebecca Blake

    Rebecca Blake

    Treasurer

    United States
    rblake@theicod.org

    Rebecca Blake is Design Director at Optimum Design & Consulting in New York City and Advocacy Liaison for the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG). Ms. Blake’s role at the Guild is to monitor legislation on copyrights and policy relevant to graphic artists, and to work with a coalition of associations on advocacy for visual artists. Previously, Ms Blake served as the Guild’s New York Chapter President and Chapter Treasurer. Ms. Blake has also served on the International Council of Design Audit Committee and as the National Design Policy Workgroup lead.

  • Essam Abu Awad (1958-2021)

    Essam Abu Awad (1958-2021)

    Vice President

    Jordan
    N/A

    Tragically Essam passed away in April 2021. He is sorely missed by colleagues and friends around the world (see our ‘In Memoriam’). Essam Abu Awad was Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Applied Science Private University (ASU), a pioneer institution for art and social design education in Jordan since its establishment in1992. Mr Abu Awad had been active in the international design community representing his home organisation at the International Council of Design, the International Institute for Information Design (IIID), and Cumulus. Mr Abu Awad was the Founding President of the Middle East Design Educators Association (MEDEA).

  • Jonas Liugaila

    Jonas Liugaila

    Vice President

    Jonas Liugaila a design strategist at CRITICAL, a design agency he co-founded in Lithuania. Mr Liugaila is currently a professor at Vilnius Academy of Arts, and serves as a board member of the Lithuanian Design Association. He is an experienced art director, lecturer, has conducted numerous workshops, presentations and has an extensive international publishing record.

  • Zinnia Nizar

    Zinnia Nizar

    Vice President

    Indonesia
    znizar@theicod.org

    Zinnia Nizar is a professor of design at the Apple Developer Academy, and was recently selected to teach the Apple Distinguished Educator class of 2019. Ms Nizar joined the Indonesia Graphic Designer Association in 2009 and from 2014–2017 acted as their President during which period she helped establish the Indonesia Agency for Creative Economy (BEKRAF)—a body currently on its way to achieving Ministry status in Indonesia. Ms Nizar holds degrees in graphic design from The Art Institute of Seattle and the School of Visual Arts. Having begun her career working for magazines, she continues to be among the few designers sought out for editorial design in Indonesia today.

  • Ting Xu

    Ting Xu

    Vice President

    Ting Xu is Secretary-General of the Shenzhen Culture, Creativity & Design Association (SCCDA)—a para-governmental non-profit body commissioned by the Shenzhen municipal government to manage and brand ‘the City of Design’ programme. SCCDA is the focal point for UNESCO Creative Cities Network programme, maintaining liaison with UNESCO and other creative cities around the world. In this role, Mr Xu is involved in the organisation of the government-sponsored Shenzhen Design Week and the Shenzhen Global Design Award (SDA). In cooperation across creative sectors between Shenzhen and other cities around the world, SDPA facilitates design education and student exchange programmes. Mr Xu was the Co-Curator of the 2nd and 3rd HK–SZ Design Biennales  and Curator of the HK–SZ Creative Furniture Exhibition.

  • Chao Zhao

    Chao Zhao

    Vice President

    Chao Zhao is Deputy Dean of the Academy of Arts and Design, Deputy Dean of the Art and Science Research Institute, Chair of Industrial Design Department, Director of Healthcare Design Lab in Tsinghua University. Dr Zhao is also the Secretary-General of the Design Disciplinary Teaching Steering Committee of the Ministry of Education of China. Dr Zhao holds a ‘Distinguished Professor Award’ and has an extensive and distinguished design-related publication record in international journals and conferences. Dr Zhao has won the ‘Red Dot Award’, the National Design Award, an Australia Excellent Alumni Award, a Top Ten Chinese Young Designer Award, and the New Century China Talents Award.

  • Michelle Renee

    Michelle Renee

    Board Member

    Vice President of Creative Strategy for the Vancouver office of NATIONAL Public Relations, Michelle Renee is a creative and strategic thinker with more than 20 years of experience as an art director and communications strategist. Ms Renee has helped develop creative campaigns across all sectors in both digital and print environments.

    Ms Renee is a graduate of the Sauder School of Business Ch’nook Aboriginal Business Education program, as well as a graduate of Grant MacEwan University’s Illustration and Visual Communications program. She is also a proud member of the Tzeachten First Nation in Chilliwack, BC. In 2020, Ms Renee was awarded BC’s Medal for Good Citizenship for her advocacy for the rights of transgender youth, and she is a regular public speaker on the importance of supporting trans kids. She is also a member of AVENIR GLOBAL’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, and the City of Delta’s Task Force on Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism.