Secretariat Team

The WDO team facilitates the exchange of ideas within the design community by implementing a range of projects and initiatives, and raises awareness of the power of industrial design to effect positive change in the world.

Dilki de Silva
Secretary General

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 227

Dilki was appointed Secretary General in 2003 and is responsible for the financial and overall operational performance of the organization: capacity building, strategic planning, membership relations, and partnership development. She is also a consultant for various companies and organizations, and lectures on SME development, capacity building, and international partnerships.

Dilki started her career as an intern for the World Bank, followed by several managerial positions in the UK and Canada. During her work in international economic development with the city of Toronto, she was instrumental in bringing international relations to the top of the city’s political agenda. She holds a BA in Business Administration majoring in Economics and International Relations from New England College, USA.

Candice Cartier
Administrative Officer

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 221

Candice has more than 15 years’ experience in the non-profit sector, including two years of international NGO experience, as well as time spent living abroad. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Concordia University, with a focus on European and American history. As Administrative Officer, she will be the point of contact for both general office administration as well as for member services.

Allison DaCosta
Operations Manager

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 235

Allison joined the organization following a career in business development support and marketing for leading Canadian and international professional services firms. As Operations Manager, she works toward ensuring organizational effectiveness in the areas of contract compliance and administration. Allison has a background in both design and business whereby she holds a Bachelor of Architecture, an MBA in Marketing and International Business, and has pursued studies in design management.

Jessica Hanson
WDC Programme Manager

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 224

Jessica Hanson is a non-profit professional with over seven years of international think tank and NGO experience. At WDO, she will manage the growth and development of World Design Capital® programming and facilitate contact between the organization and past and upcoming World Design Capitals. Jessica has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from McGill University, a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Sussex, and recently completed her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Gemma Peralta
Special Events Officer


T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 223

With over 10 years of international non-governmental agency experience and a strong background in urban planning and real estate, Gemma is responsible for the coordination of WDO’s special events. These include the biennial General Assembly, World DesignTalks, the World Design Exchange, and World Industrial Design Day. She holds degrees in Political Science from McGill and McMaster Universities.

Alfredo Rodriguez
Strategy Manager


T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 225

Alfredo is a management consultant with experience in the design and execution of high-impact transformations in the strategic and functional performance of organizations. He is responsible for helping WDO with next steps in regard to the strategic and business plans. He will also assist in activating several initiatives aligned to the organization’s renewed mission. Alfredo has a Bachelor in Business Administration, is a Project Management Professional (PMP), and holds an MBA from Schulich School of Business.

Andréa Springer
Interim Programme & Communications Director

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 232

Andréa is a Public Relations professional with 20 years experience in corporate communications, media and investor relations, as well as project and event management. Her experience in the development of branding strategies in the fields of information technology, telecommunications and consumer goods led her to WDO in 2005. Since then, she has played a pivotal role in the development of the organization’s principal programmes and projects, as well as in the formulation of global alliance strategy to achieve its growth and profitability objectives. In her current dual leadership role, she is charged with empowering an extended team to drive global visibility and is accountable for effective, cross-programme alignment.

Augie Van Biljouw
Strategic Communications and Content Development

Augie is a McGill University graduate and communications professional with over 20 years’ experience in strategic communications and content development, primarily for NGOs, associations, and government agencies in the field of human rights and international development. She is an accomplished writer, editor, and event planner. She currently supports WDO’s Programming objectives by gathering and developing content to strengthen the organization’s brand identity and help align its content with the international development agenda.

Rose Wu
Accounts Administrator

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 239

As the Accounts Administrator, Rose contributes to the ongoing advancement and achievement of WDO’s strategic objectives through the facilitation of essential administrative functions. Her responsibilities include bookkeeping, preparing financial statements, quarterly and annual reports, as well as assisting with other related accounting duties. Rose also provides administrative and project support to the management team at the Secretariat.