Rebecca Wright has begun her term as D&AD president for 2021-’22. The dean of academic programs at Central Saint Martins/UAL, Wright succeeds Pentagram partner Naresh Ramchandani at the D&AD helm.
The D&AD president is elected annually from the board of trustees to champion the organization’s mission and shape the conversations for the year ahead. Wright’s dedication to the value and power of creative education--embodied in her role at Central Saint Martins--harmonizes with D&AD’s mission to nurture the next generation of creative talent through programs such as New Blood and Shift, in the belief that education is the key to unlocking a more stimulating and equitable future for the industry.
As the organization’s first president from the world of education, Wright will focus her efforts on continuing D&AD’s legacy of inspiring and facilitating creative learning, particularly pertinent as D&AD celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2022. She will lead D&AD’s exploration of the diverse routes of creative learning, including underrepresented and emerging voices, other sectors and disciplines, and as a collective effort towards the shared goal of creating a better future for people and planet. Developing D&AD’s dedication to platforming important discussion and debate, Wright will also help raise conversations around the obstacles to creative education, while giving voice to the next generation of creative thinkers.
Having led departments encompassing everything from graphic design and communications, to spatial practices, and cultural and enterprise, Wright brings a varied background which will help to engage new audiences with the creative sector, amplifying D&AD’s vision that an interdisciplinary approach is the answer to tackling the biggest challenges of the future.
Wright commented, “As a bridge between industry and education, D&AD plays a catalytic role in effecting positive change. I consider the presidency not an individual task, but a chance to work in collaboration with D&AD, its trustees and incredible community to address the challenges we face and progression we need to see. I am honored and humbled to be offered this position.”
D&AD further announced that Richard Brim, chief creative officer at adam&eveDDB, will become deputy president, automatically succeeding to the presidency in ‘22-’23.
Tim Lindsay, chairman at D&AD, commented: “I’d like to thank Naresh Ramchandani for leading D&AD through one of its most challenging years with unwavering determination, enthusiasm and motivation. He has stood to inspire and stimulate creatives from all backgrounds, while accelerating important conversations about climate and civic responsibility. I can’t think of anyone better to pass the baton onto than Rebecca Wright. As our first president from the academic world, her dedication to nurturing and supporting emerging talent has never been more meaningful.”
The organization welcomes three new trustees to the D&AD Board from across the international creative community: Liza Enebeis (creative director of Studio Dumbar), Kwame Taylor-Hayford (founder of Kin) and Jonathan Kneebone (founder of The Glue Society). Kate Stanners (global chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, and 2019-’20 D&AD president), Ben Terrett (CEO at Public Digital) and Kai-Lu Hsiung (managing director at RSA Films) are stepping down as trustees as their tenures come to a close.