AIGA Announces New Executive Director

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The search—described by AIGA as “exhaustive” and taking more than a year—is over.

AIGA announced today that the organization has landed a new executive director: Bennie F. Johnson.

AIGA Announces

Johnson comes to the role following his most recent position as chief strategy officer of the Council of Better Business Bureaus—notable here for its chapter-based structure—where he oversaw strategic partnerships with the likes of Google, the FTC and Coca-Cola, and managed an enterprise-wide restructuring. Prior to that role, he served as chief global marketing/global business development officer of the HR Certification Institute, advisor to Kaleo Software, and director of marketing at other organizations.

According to AIGA, Johnson first connected with design through professor Robert Reed at Yale, where he earned his bachelor’s degree before pursuing his master’s in strategic communications at Columbia.

As he said in the official announcement, “I have been passionate about design as a part of innovation and creativity my entire life. … I’m drawn to organizations where I can play an active role leading and creating new modes of business and enterprise to inspire stronger visions for the future. Since AIGA is entering a new decade of growth, I am thrilled to join this organization where my educational background, professional experience and personal passions merge and align with the organization’s needs and vision.”

Based in Washington DC, Johnson also serves as chairman of the advisory board of the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum.

Alongside the AIGA board of directors, the firm Nonprofit HR assisted in the search for a new executive director, which began after Julie Anixter left the role in the summer of 2018. Anixter officially joined the AIGA in January 2016, following the departure of Richard Grefé, who served at the helm for two decades.

PRINT will be following up with more coverage soon. Stay tuned.