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.

Ginette Gaulin
Secretary General

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 233

Previously the Executive Director for the Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Ginette has held numerous positions as Director and Vice-President of Business and Legal Affairs for public and private corporations. She has served as a consultant for investment funds in the creative and intellectual property sectors and has been named one of the eight “most important women” in the entertainment business in Quebec. Ginette has served on the board of many not-for-profit organizations holding treasury, as well as secretarial functions in addition to being on executive, audit or governance committees. A guest speaker on many occasions for Canadian, as well as Quebec associations, she also taught management at HEC Montréal. She received a degree in political sciences, international relations, as well as a degree in both civil and common law from the McGill University, a degree in management from the HEC Montreal and a certified administrator degree from the Collège des administrateurs of the Laval University.

 

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.

Hiba Farran
Digital Communications Officer

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 229

Hiba is a multimedia communications specialist with 12 years’ experience in graphic and multimedia design. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut and a Masters in Science Communication from Laurentian University. As the Digital Communications Officer, she combines her design and communications expertise in the development of digital media strategies, the management of media and online communications, and the generation of visual content supporting WDO’s connectivity, visibility and programming objectives.

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.

Khatidja Kassam
Communications Officer

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 223

Khatidja is a Communications Strategist with experience both in international organizations and Public Relations agencies. She has an extended knowledge of international communications issues, mostly focused on the African continent. As a key member of the Programming & Communications team at WDO, she works towards aligning communications strategies with our programmes to reach global visibility. Khatidja has a Masters in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris and is an MBA graduate from the John Molson School of Business.

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.