ico-D Executive Board

  • ico-D Executive Board 2019-2021
  • ico-D Board 2017-2019
  • ico-D Board, IBM03 Turin (Italy), April 2016
  • ico-D Board & Secretariat members during Montreal design studios visits, January 2016
  • Members of ico-D Board of Directors 2015–2017 at 26 General Assembly in Gwangju (South Korea)
    Idzwan Junaidi


ico-D’s Executive Board consists of individuals and experts from various design fields who are duly nominated and elected by ico-D Member organisations at the biennial ico-D General Assembly.

Members of the Executive Board serve in a volunteer capacity, donating their time and expertise to further ico-D's mandate. Board meetings are typically held four times a year in different locations around the world, usually in conjunction with regional meetings, seminars, or other scheduled ico-D or Member events.

On 30 November 2019 at 28GA Vancouver, candidates for the 2019-2021 Executive Board presented their vision to 50 attendees—30 design entities from 13 different countries. The 28GA voted in the following individuals:

  • Johnathon Strebly | President | Canada

    "My interest in serving the Executive Board of ico-D is to further my contributions to the design industry through advocacy and public awareness to the value of design. The goals surrounding the understanding of the power of design in our community does not stop at the local level, or at the national level. The core principles behind social impact and design value is an international conversation, and one I wish to continue facilitating."
    Johnathon Strebly
    President | Canada
    E: jstrebly@ico-d.org

    As a design director, mentor, and creativity community advocate, Johnathon brings decades of experience and involvement in the applied arts. As Director of Creative Services for HCMA Architecture + Design, he both challenges and contributes to the contemporary fabric of design today, and tomorrow. Johnathon has directly engaged and influenced the design industry through curriculum design, advisory committees, and programming for design agencies and educational institutions. He founded brand strategy and communications agency The Notice Group and is the current president of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), GDC National Ethics Chair, and past president of Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators (CAPIC) Vancouver. He is also a co-founder of CreativeMornings Vancouver.

  • Daniela Piscitelli | Secretary General | Italy

    "To put my experience of Italian and international associations and political bodies at the service of ico-D. I will aim to promote the idea the design is a social, economic and identity accelerator. My three objectives are to strengthen the international visibility of all ico-D members, to improve the role of ico-D within high level international organisations such as UN, and to contribute to the world that is economically viable, socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and culturally different."

    Daniela Piscitelli
    Secretary General | Italy
    E: dpiscitelli@ico-d.org

    Associate Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Campania ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’. Her interests are concentrated in the area of Communication Design, with more focus to the scenarios and emerging cultures such as Asia and Africa. The Visual Communic-ethic Code Lab. consolidates research on the ethical dimension of design and on the centrality of communication design for new emergencies, with particular focus to permanent anomie and the role and social responsibility of visual communication, as well as research related to the writings of complexity as horizons around which to build tools for the visual transcription of information, for the processing, acquisition, transfer and management of knowledge useful for imagining alternative models of access to knowledge.


    She is former President of Aiap and former vice-president of PoliDesign. She is currently 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; World Regional Representative for the IIID International Institute for Information Design. Since 2017 Daniela served on the board of ico-D as vice President.

  • Rebecca Blake | Treasurer | United States

    "The changing circumstance designers and design associations face as a result of globalisation and new technologies pose both considerable challenges and exciting opportunities. My goal has been to position ico-D to meet those challenges, by developing new revenue streams and taking a fresh approach to fiscal responsibility. We have made progress in meeting these goals, but that work is ongoing. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve on a board of such august organisations, and with such a capable, committed Secretariat. With the support of the membership, I hope to serve for a second term as Treasurer."

    Rebecca Blake
    Treasurer | United States
    E: rblake@ico-d.org

    Rebecca Blake is Design Director at Optimum Design & Consulting, a small design firm in New York City, where she develops both print and Web design projects.

    She serves as Advocacy Liaison for the Graphic Artists Guild, where she monitors upcoming legislation on copyrights and issues relevant to graphic artists, and works with a coalition of associations on advocacy for visual artists. Previously, she served as the Guild’s New York Chapter President and Chapter Treasurer.

    Since 2017, she has served as Treasurer of ico-D. Prior to that, she served on the Audit Committee and as National Design Policy Workgroup lead.



  • Essam Abu Awad | Vice President | Jordan

    "Having played a progressively more involved role in design movement, from being an active member of ico-D, IIID, and Cumulus, to being the President of the Middle East Design Educators Association since 2015, I am confident in taking the next step in expanding my leadership skills and involvement with our great organisation, ico-D. In addition to the leadership skills I gained though serving the design movement in the Middle East, and the invaluable experience I received while working for the Graphic Design firm (Midas) in Amman, the two decades spent working at Applied Science Private University taught me how important it is to be an active team member, to stay organised, and most of all, to chase solutions to challenges we encounter by meeting them together, head-on. It is my hope that my range of experiences over time will help me to merit candidature for the 2019–2021 ico-D Board."

    Essam Abu Awad
    Vice President | Jordan
    E: eabuawad@ico-d.org

    Essam Abu Awad is the Dean of Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Applied Science Private University (Jordan). The Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Applied Science (ASU) is a pioneer in teaching art and design since its establishment in 1992. Since its inception, it has managed to supply the local and Arab markets with qualified graphic and interior designers. The faculty comprises of a diverse community of Jordanian and Arabic students who believe in developing their skills and design methods to serve humans and society.


  • Jonas Liugaila | Vice President | Lithuania

    "I would start with the question what would a design organisation look like if you could design it from scratch, aimed at life in the middle of the 21st century? Yes. It probably would look different. As creative who works with development of brands, as participator of national design discourse and meaning-seeking member of organisation I’m able to feel matches and mismatches between needs of designers and delivers of organisations. I clearly understand that organisation is evolution based and will never be finished. And I see rethinking of the processes, products, brands as a must. As designers do. I’m designer."
    Jonas Liugaila
    Vice President | Lithuania
    E: jliugaila@ico-d.org

    Jonas is an experienced art director, lecturer, and has conducted numerous workshops, presentations as well as written articles on design for national and international audiences. He is currently a design strategist at the design agency CRITICAL, and a lecturer at Vilnius Academy of Arts, and serves as a board member of the Lithuanian Graphic Design Association. As a husband and father, his focus on the positive roles and responsibilities of design are close to home. 

  • Zinnia Nizar | Vice President | Indonesia

    "During my terms as VP, I have experienced first hand the power of connection and collaboration and as I stated on my previous intent, «it is a much stronger voice when it is one voice». During the term 2017–2019, World Design Summit happened, and learning from my board members, any effort in uniting our voices is not a quick effort. It takes time and energy. Being a board member requires that, and I’d like to contribute my time and energy once more to this great cause, for communicating the value of design, for uniting our voices, for connecting the world and for the love of my profession."

    Zinnia Nizar
    Vice President | Indonesia
    E: znizar@ico-d.org

    Zinnia studied graphic design at The Art Institute of Seattle (1995) and School of Visual Arts (1998) in the United States. She began her career working for magazines and today continues to be one of the few designers sought out for editorial design in Indonesia. In 2009, she joined the Indonesia Graphic Designer Association and her love for their cause led her to became their president (2014–2017). Within her term, she helped establish the Indonesia Agency for Creative Economy which is on its way to becoming a Ministry. She currently teaches design at Apple Developer Academy, and was recently selected for Apple Distinguished Educator class of 2019.

  • Ting Xu | Vice President | China

    "My name is Ting Xu. I have been involved with the Shenzhen UNESCO City of Design programme for nearly ten years. The organisation I serve as Secretary General, Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Association, is commissioned by the government to seek cooperation and collaborations in design with design institution and organisations, design festivals, design cities, etc. around the world. Should I be elected, that is exactly my interest and goal in serving as a Board Member of ico-D, not just between Shenzhen and others, but between China and the rest of the world."

    Ting Xu
    Vice President | China

    Mr. Xu is the Secretary-General, Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Association (SDPA). SDPA is a semi-official and non-profit body commissioned by Shenzhen municipal government to manage and brand ‘the City of Design’ program. It is the focal point for UNESCO Creative Cities Network program, maintaining liaison with UNESCO and other creative cities around the world. SDPA is also the organiser of Shenzhen Design Week and Shenzhen Global Design Award (SDA), two major design projects sponsored by the government.


    Other missions of SDPA include consolidating different design forces and resources in Shenzhen for the benefit of the design community and the city as a whole, (e.g. branding Shenzhen designs and the city itself), enhancing the exchange and cooperation in the creative sectors between Shenzhen and other cities around the world, facilitating design education and student exchange programs, etc. Mr. XU was the co-curator of the 2nd and 3rd HK–SZ Design Biennale, and curator of HK–SZ Creative Furniture Exhibition.


  • Chao Zhao | Vice President | China

    "With Chinese culture background and industrial design expertise, I will contribute my knowledge in leading the top Chinese design school to assist ico-D becoming a multidisciplinary and multicultural world design association. My intention of working for Executive Board is helping ico-D to establish International Design Education Laboratory. The laboratory aims to foster interaction between international design schools with Chinese colleagues for their mutual benefit. As Secretary-General of the Design Disciplinary Teaching Steering Committee of the Ministry of Education China, I will link Chinese design universities and local industries with international design society. Based on the International Design Education Laboratory, I will work with ico-D colleagues to develop international design curriculum standards and criteria to promote and evaluate the quality of design education. This will help design institutes with culture difference to balance design research and practice, and to cultivate the design talents with the global leadership."
    Chao Zhao
    Vice President | China

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

  • David Grossman | Board Member | Israel

    "To change the way people look at design we need to talk less about 'designs' and more about 'designing.' The potency of a designer is not what he or she has designed, but what they contribute through their professional design process."
    David Grossman
    Board Member | Israel

    David Grossman is an environmental graphic designer focusing mainly on public and institutional projects. He has many years of experience in design education, serving as a lecturer, head of department and head of school. He has long been active in the professional design community on the national and international levels. David served as treasurer and then President of Icograda between 1995–2003, and returned to the organisation, renamed ico-D, as President-Elect in 2013.
    Since 2017, David has represented ico-D on the Design Declaration Summit Steering Committee.
    David has played key roles as event organiser, editor, curator, lecturer and juror for international design festivals, catalogs, exhibitions, conferences and awards. In recent years, David has been active in supporting the development of the Chinese design industry infrastructure.