Caroline Baumann

Caroline Baumann is the director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the only museum in the U.S. devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Cooper Hewitt’s special exhibitions and educational programs tell design’s story, raise awareness of design’s universal value and demonstrate design’s power to make a difference.

Baumann was appointed director in 2013, after serving the museum in various leadership positions for 12 years. She spearheaded the museum’s most ambitious capital campaign to date, which raised nearly $91 million, and led the recent renovation and expansion of the museum’s home in the historic landmark Carnegie Mansion, transforming America’s design museum into a dynamic, global resource for the public understanding of design. 

Tom Bodkin
Tom Bodkin

Tom Bodkin, the design director of The New York Times since 1987, was named a deputy managing editor in 2011 and creative director in 2015. He also holds the title of Chief Creative Officer extending his role to all New York Times Company enterprises. As head of the newsroom art department, he is responsible for the evolving look and user experience for all platforms including the paper, the web site, and mobile apps. He oversees a staff of 140 that includes art directors, news designers, digital designers, information architects, design technologists, graphics editors, multimedia editors, and production artists.

Mr. Bodkin joined The Times in April 1980 as art director of the Home Section. Prior to The Times, Mr. Bodkin was creative director of Avant-Garde Media, a designer for the CBS Broadcast Group, and the art director of Us Magazine.

Mr. Bodkin has won numerous awards from design associations, including a special award from AIGA “for design in the service of society” for The New York Times’s presentation of news surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 1986 Mr. Bodkin was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for the Times’s coverage of the Strategic Defense Initiative, known as the Star Wars program.

Debora Bubb
Debora A. Bubb

Debora A. Bubb is an HR Vice President and Chief Leadership, Learning & Inclusion Officer at IBM. Leveraging a digital learning marketplace, data analytics, AI and science-based assessment and development solutions, Deb and her team are reinventing leadership and culture at IBM.

Prior to joining IBM, Debora was a vice president and director of global leadership and learning at Intel Corporation. There she had overall responsibility for Intel’s corporate leadership and learning strategy and for developing and deploying solutions and systems to unleash the leader inside everyone at Intel, from employee to executive. Debora’s background in human resources and leadership includes deep experience in strategic business partnership roles, organizational, and leadership development as well as HR operations management.

Zita Cobb

Zita Cobb is Founder and CEO of Shorefast and Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn. A registered Canadian charity, Shorefast uses business-minded means to help secure economic and cultural resilience for Fogo Island, Newfoundland: one of Canada’s oldest settlements. 

Following a successful career in tech, Zita returned to her home of Fogo Island to help grow another leg on the economy of this singular rural place. Shorefast’s notable achievements to date include the world-class artist-in-residence program Fogo Island Arts, and three innovative social businesses whose operating surpluses are returned to Shorefast for reinvestment in further community development work. Shorefast has pioneered the innovative practice economic nutrition labeling for its social businesses, transparently demonstrating “where the money goes.”

Elizabeth Diller

Elizabeth Diller is a founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), an interdisciplinary design studio based in New York. This Fall, Liz created, directed and produced The Mile-Long Opera an immersive choral work staged on the High Line. Liz has been distinguished with TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” list and the first MacArthur Foundation fellowship awarded in the field of architecture. She is currently leading two cultural works significant to New York: The Shed—the first multi-arts center designed to commission, produce, and present all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture – and the expansion of MoMA (both opening 2019).

Most recently, DS+R was selected to design the Centre for Music, a permanent home for the London Symphony Orchestra and a new Collection and Research Centre for the V&A in London’s Olympic Park. Liz is Professor of Architecture at Princeton University.  

Erleen Hatfield

Erleen Hatfield, PE, AIA, is the Managing Partner of the Hatfield Group, a multi-disciplinary engineering consulting firm based in New York. She has over 25 years of experience in the design of complex structures worldwide, teaches in the Architecture School at Yale University, and sits on numerous industry boards.  

Hatfield Group focuses on synthesis of engineering and architecture, using creative engineering design and innovation to achieve their clients’ goals. Recent experience includes the new home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, the Mercedes Benz retractable roof stadium, the new headquarters for PNC Bank, the Tower at PNC Plaza, and the Green House, a multi-family residential building in New York City.

Val Head

Val Head is a web animation expert, author, and DesigFFn Advocate at Adobe. She is the author of Designing Interface Animation, published by Rosenfeld Media, teaches CSS Animation on, and curates the weekly UI Animation Newsletter.

Richard Hollant

Richard Hollant is the principal, lead strategist, and design director at CO:LAB, a firm working exclusively on projects that empower communities with a focus on local work around culture and equity.

Richard has received numerous awards, including top honors in both international and regional design magazines and competitions, for aesthetic value and results generation. His work on diversity and inclusion is in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. Rich has been featured in Business Weekly, profiled by Communication Arts, honored as one of 20 “People to Watch” by Graphic Design, U.S.A., and acknowledged by Fast Company as one of the top 11 designers working on social value.  

Oen Hammonds
Oen Hammonds

Oen Michael Hammonds, a designer, mentor, and Design Principal at IBM, has designed across the gamut—services, advertising, graphic, interactive, and environmental. Oen’s current work with diverse external and internal clients, business and technology industries demonstrate his ability to jump in and solve tough and complex challenges.

At IBM, Oen works with the HR Design team to drive the design and implementation of impactful IBM HR experiences by increasing alignment and integration between HR programs, teams, and tools while focusing on the needs of employees, first-line, and upline managers. In this role, Oen works with his team facilitate strategic projects and Enterprise Design Thinking workshops that transform IBM HR to build iconic products and services with human-centered experiences.

Jon Iwata

Jon Iwata is Executive in Residence at Yale School of Management, an appointment he received upon his retirement from IBM in 2018, capping a 34-year career at the company.

Jon led IBM’s global marketing, communications and corporate citizenship organization for nearly a decade. He reported to three IBM CEOs and remains a senior advisor to Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President, and CEO. His most recent position was IBM Chief Brand Officer and Senior Vice President. IBM’s brand is recognized as one of the most valuable in the world, a status that has been enhanced by the development of strategic brand platforms, which express IBM’s unique strategy, purpose, and values. Jon is the architect of several of these brand platforms, including e-business, Smarter Planet, and Watson. 

Bobby C. Martin

Bobby C. Martin Jr. is a founding partner of OCD | The Original Champions of Design, a branding  and design agency headquartered in New York City. He guides the agency’s culture and sets the relentlessly high standard of design. Since founding the company, with Jennifer Kinon in 2010, he has partnered with a wide range of clients such as The Atlantic, Dartmouth, Girl Scouts of the USA, MTV, NBA, The New York Times, and The Studio Museum in Harlem to ensure their brand’s goals. 

Martin has won numerous international awards from AIGA, Art Directors Club, Communication Arts, D&AD, and the Type Directors Club, among others. 

Silka Miesnieks
Silka Miesnieks

As the Head of Emerging Design at Adobe, Silka is behind many immersive design and AI-related features found in Adobe products and services today. As new technology and designers needs emerge, Silka identifies the untapped potential of design tools and services and reimagining the tools of the future with teams throughout Adobe. She comes from a land down-under, with her husband, two sons, and a bottle of whiskey to lower her blood pressure. 

Before Adobe, Silka led product design for a Samsung AR/VR innovation team. She also co-founded Dekko with the goal of humanized technology using AR and AI technologies. Always one with an entrepreneurial spirit, Silka also mentors startups and women in tech.

Ellen McGirt

Ellen McGirt, Fortune Senior Editor, is an award-winning feature writer who also covers race, culture, and leadership in a daily column for Fortune called RaceAhead. Her reporting has taken her inside the C-Suites of Facebook, Nike, Twitter, Intel, Xerox, and Cisco; on the campaign trail with Barack Obama and across Africa with Bono to study breakthrough philanthropy. In the past, she’s written for Time, Money and Fast Company, where she wrote or contributed to more than twenty cover stories, and created the digital series the “30 Second MBA.” She attended Brown University and is on the board of L’Ecole de Choix, an elementary school in Mirebalais, Haiti.

Abbott Miller

Abbott Miller was born in Indiana and studied design at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. In 1989 he founded the multidisciplinary studio Design/Writing/Research where, in collaboration with Ellen Lupton, he pioneered the concept of “designer as author,” undertaking projects in which content and form are developed in a symbiotic relationship. He joined Pentagram’s New York office as a partner in June 1999.

Abbott’s projects are often concerned with the cultural role of design and the public life of the written word. At Pentagram he leads a team designing books, magazines, catalogs, identities, exhibitions, and creating editorial projects.

Lindsay Morris
Lindsay Morris

Lindsay is passionate about visual storytelling. As Strategic Development Manager at Adobe Stock, she develops customer relationships, fosters strategic partnerships, and collaborates on content and product strategy. Before joining Adobe Stock, she was the Senior Manager of Creative Planning at Getty Images. There she analyzed the meaning, implementation, and impact of photographs and video in today’s visual world. She worked directly with customers and artists alike, providing them with insight into what imagery resonates the most with their target audiences. She was also formerly a photo editor for Getty Images Entertainment, Hearst Magazines, and Newscorp.

Indra K. Nooyi

Indra Nooyi is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. In its global food and beverage portfolio, PepsiCo has 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Nooyi is the chief architect of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo’s pledge to do what’s right for the business by being responsive to the needs of the world around us. 

Nooyi has directed the company’s global strategy for more than a decade and led its restructuring. She led the acquisition of Tropicana, the merger with Quaker Oats that brought the vital Quaker and Gatorade businesses to PepsiCo, and the acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann, the largest international acquisition in PepsiCo’s history.

Dr. Siona O'Connell

Siona O’Connell (PhD) is a NEH Professor of the Humanities in Africana and Latin American Studies, Art and Art History, and Film and Media Studies at Colgate University, as well as an African Studies scholar at the University of Pretoria. She has curated numerous exhibitions and directed and produced seven films that consider ways of life after racial oppression in South Africa. Her work pivots on ideas of place, belonging, and freedom.

Mauro Porcini

Mauro Porcini joined PepsiCo in 2012 as its Chief Design Officer. In the newly created position, Mauro infused design thinking into PepsiCo’s culture and led a new approach to innovation by design that impacted the company’s product platforms and brands. His focus extends from physical to virtual expressions of the brands, including product, packaging, events, advertising, retail activation, architecture, and digital media. The PepsiCo Design function led by Mauro has been recognized with the “Red Dot Client of the Year” Award 2014, along with dozens of other awards and recognitions.

Prior to joining PepsiCo, Mauro served as Chief Design Officer at 3M, where his mission was to build and nurture a design sensitive culture in a technology driven and global corporation.  The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Journal in 2011 called him “the man putting 3M on the design map,” and under his design leadership, 3M made FastCompany’s list of 30 companies that “get” design. 

David Rose
David Rose

David Rose is an award-winning entrepreneur, published author, international speaker, and MIT researcher on a mission to make technology dissolve into the fabric of daily living.

David is the Vice President of Vision Technology at Warby Parker, where he’s reinventing vision tests to make them more accessible and convenient for the billions of people who need corrective lenses. Before Warby Parker, Rose was a five-time entrepreneur in artificial intelligence, healthcare, consumer electronics, and toys.

His popular book, Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things, focuses on the future of the internet of things and how these technologies will impact the ways we live and work. He’s also a lecturer at the MIT Media Lab and has worked with the Tangible Media and City Science groups. David holds patents for photo sharing, interactive TV, ambient information displays, and medical devices. His work has been featured at MoMA, covered in The New York Times, WIRED, The Economist, and parodied on The Colbert Report.

Clayton F. Ruebensaal III

As the head of Global Brand Management, Clayton is responsible for defining the vision and strategy for the American Express brand across all business units and geographies. From setting the strategy to optimizing budgets to leading a best-in-class design team, Clayton is focused on enabling colleagues across the enterprise to grow the value of the Brand. The brand strategy his team authored aligns human resources, operations, marketing and servicing to deliver an authentic brand experience end-to-end.

Clayton has held leadership roles at some of the world’s most creatively awarded advertising agencies including running the New York office of British agency BMB and leading E*trade, Pepsi, and The Economist accounts as Executive Vice President at BBDO. Prior to joining American Express, Clayton led global marketing at The Ritz-Carlton.

Sebastian Shaw
Sebastian Shaw

Seb Shaw is a Principal Strategic Development Manager at Adobe focused on the intersection of design, technology, and business. He has been at Adobe for 18 years and has held roles across the organization centered on the media, advertising, and communications industries. His tenure has given him both a perspective and deep understanding of the ever-changing shifts, effects, and innovations in the creative and design fields. He is responsible for building strategic relationships with Adobe’s largest global brand and design customers, while helping them be successful with technology and elevating their thought leadership in the industry. 

Susse Jensen
Susse Sønderby

Susse is a designer engaged in challenging social and behavioral systems through voice experiences. She started out as an industrial designer, and quickly moved into designing digital products, which she has done for LG, Bang & Olufsen, Sprint, Bose, and more. After getting her first Echo device in 2015, she found voice interfaces to be the perfect balance of designing physical and digital experiences. She is a firm believer that we all soon will be talking to our digital devices a little more, in an effort to look at them a little less. 

Susse graduated with honors from the MFA Design and Technology Program at Parsons, and is the co-founder of the creative tech collective Candyfloss. Currently she is part of the design team at Adobe building design tools for voice interfaces. 

Heather Stern

Heather Stern is Chief Marketing and Talent Officer at Lippincott, a creative consultancy specializing in brand and innovation. WFFith a fusion of creativity and business acumen, she serves as a trusted advisor to top clients across industries while acting as steward to Lippincott’s own brand. A cultivator of industry trends and their impact on brands, she recently spearheaded the firm’s award-winning thought leadership campaign, “The Customer of the Future,” as well as the original exhibition, “Like me: our bond with brands,” which featured at the London Design Museum and One World Trade Center in NYC.

In her talent role, she leads human resources with a dedication to engaging employees and creating a working culture attractive to top talent. She is passionate about women’s leadership and is currently co-chair of AIGA’s Women Lead Initiative and its “Double or Nothing” effort — a movement to double the number of women designers in leadership positions. She’s a natural connector, an avid music lover and a proud mom of two boys.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson is president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company. He is responsible for leading the company’s strategy, operations and business units, and working closely with the chairman to direct the vision of the company.

Mr. Thompson has been instrumental in accelerating the pace of The Times’s digital transformation. Under his leadership, The Times became the first news organization in the world to pass the one million digital-only subscription mark. The company has also introduced a new era of international growth, launched an industry-leading branded content studio, and invested in VR, producing some of the most celebrated work in this emerging medium.

Before joining the Times Company, Mr. Thompson served as Director-General of the BBC from 2004, where he reshaped the organization to meet the challenge of the digital age. He also oversaw a transformation of the BBC itself through the introduction of new technologies and bold organizational redesign. Mr. Thompson was visiting professor of Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion at the University of Oxford in 2012 and wrote “Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?” based on the lectures he there.

Richard Ting

As EVP, Global Chief Design Officer, Richard is a C-suite partner to R/GA’s global client roster. Richard has 20 years of experience in building, guiding, and directing world class digital design teams to envision, pilot, and commercialize innovative digital products, services, and customer experiences. Richard is also a co-Founder and Partner in R/GA Ventures and has worked with and advised 80+ early-to-growth stage startups.

While overseeing and setting the vision for R/GA’s global team of multi-disciplinary designers, Richard ensures that his teams are highly skilled in design thinking, product innovation, service design, commerce, prototyping, and digital marketing. Richard has worked with a wide range of companies including Nike, Samsung, Google, Verizon, and Equinox, and has received nearly every major industry creative award, including the Cannes Titanium Lion, the D&AD Black Pencil, and the Grand CLIO. 

Valla Vakili

Valla Vakili is the director and head of Ventures Studio. Vakili has spent his career driving digital transformation across industries by identifying growth opportunities for companies and developing products and teams that win. As Head of Venture Studio at Citi Ventures, Valla engages with external ecosystems and Citi colleagues to develop solutions that meet the evolving expectations that people, businesses and cities have for the banking industry. 

Valla began his career at Yahoo, where he built new profit streams and products that were instrumental in Yahoo becoming the web’s dominant content portal. After Yahoo, Valla founded a startup for exploring and consuming digital content across all media. His founder experience gave Valla valuable insight into how to manage startup peaks and valleys, which has influenced his work at Citi Ventures today. 

Todd Waterbury

Todd Waterbury is Target’s Chief Creative Officer. In his role, Todd establishes the creative vision and direction of Target’s marketing efforts, leading an internal team of art directors, designers, developers, writers, and producers, as well as its external agency and design partners. Together, they craft the creative content and experience for the Target brand from its Owned Brands to innovative partnerships with Vogue and The Grammys.

Before joining Target, Todd established a consulting company that worked with clients including Uniqlo and designed the Twitter logo. Prior to that, Todd served as co-executive creative director at Wieden+Kennedy New York. Todd’s work has received numerous design and advertising awards, and is included in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art. Todd is also proud to serve as Board Vice President of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.


Dana Arnett

Dana Arnett is the vice chairman and founding partner of VSA Partners, headquartered in Chicago. Arnett, along with his six partners, lead a group of 150 associates in the creation of design programs, digital and interactive initiatives, and brand marketing solutions for a diverse roster of clients, including Harley-Davidson, IBM, General Electric, Coca-Cola, Thomson Reuters, and Nike.

Over the course of his 28 years in the field, Arnett and the firm have been globally recognized by over 60 competitions and designations. Arnett was a 1999 inductee into the Alliance Graphique Internationale, and is the president of AIGA, the professional association for design.

Michael Bierut

Michael studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, graduating summa cum laude in 1980. Prior to joining Pentagram in 1990 as a partner in the firm’s New York office, he worked for ten years at Vignelli Associates, ultimately as vice president of graphic design.

His clients at Pentagram have included The New York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Harley-Davidson, The Museum of Arts and Design, the New York City Department of Transportation, the Robin Hood Foundation, Mohawk Paper Mills, New World Symphony, Princeton University, the New York Jets, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and MIT Media Lab.

Jessica Helfand

Jessica is a graphic designer, educator, and writer. She is a founding editor of Design Observer (where, with Michael Bierut, she also co-hosts The Observatory podcast). A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Communication Arts, and Eye magazines, she has written for numerous national publications including Aperture, Los Angeles Times Book Review, and The New Republic.

Helfand is the author of numerous books on design and cultural criticism, and as visiting critic at numerous programs in design and architecture throughout the United States and Europe, she has lectured at Google, Facebook, the Walker Art Center and the Annenberg Center for Public Policy, among others. Since 1996, Jessica has taught in the graduate program in Graphic Design at Yale University, where she is currently Senior Critic. Helfand is also the artist in residence at Yale’s Institute for Network Science, a Lecturer in Yale College, and a member of the faculty of the Yale School of Management.