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.

Bertrand Derome
Managing Director

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 233

Bertrand is a not-for-profit organization manager and sustainable design advisor with more than 20 years experience. He is a confirmed lecturer who eagerly advocates for design’s social, environmental and economic impacts, for the betterment of the world. After graduating from the School of Design at Université de Montréal, he practiced design in a studio, as well as in a manufacturing company. He joined the Institute for Product Development as the Sustainable Design Advisor and became the general manager of the Institute in 2012, where he developed private and public partnerships, both locally and internationally, helping organizations improve their innovation practices. Currently, he is also President of the Quebec Association of Industrial Designers (ADIQ) in Montreal (Canada) and participates as an advisor on many public and sectorial committees and juries.


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.

Jerusalem Girma
Administrative Officer

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 231

Jerusalem has over eight years of administrative and managerial experience in the not-for-profit sector. She manages office operations at the WDO Secretariat and collaborates on key projects. Jerusalem has a Bachelor of Commerce from the John Molson School of Business, and a Master of Arts in Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship from Erasmus University Rotterdam.


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.

Eric Lauwers
WDC Programme Manager

T +1 514 448 4949 ext. 222

Eric has 15 plus years of experience in managing a broad set of projects in not-for-profit organizations and the social economy, as well as with communication, community building and engagement and strategic planning. At WDO, he is in charge of the growth and development of World Design Capital® programming and facilitates between the organization and past and upcoming World Design Capitals. Eric has studied business and philanthropic management, journalism and photography. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).


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
Programmes & 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.

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.

Jessica Hanson
(currently on maternity leave)

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.