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IGDA Appoints New Executive Director Renee Gittins
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO – July 10, 2019 – The International Game Developers Association (IGDA), the world’s largest organization serving individuals who create games, has appointed current board member and secretary Renee Gittins as the new executive director to succeed Jen MacLean, who stepped down in April 2019.
The IGDA Foundation (IGDAF), the charitable organization forging new paths on diversity and inclusion in games, which MacLean also helmed, has chosen former Entertainment Software Association (ESA) head of public affairs Nika Nour as its new executive director.
Gittins brings a wealth of advocacy and game development experience to the role of Executive Director, having previously served on the IGDA board of directors for more than two years. Prior to joining the IGDA Gittins worked as a technical producer at several game studios, and will now step down from her current position as a Solutions Architect at Spirit AI to focus her efforts on the IGDA. She will retain her role as CEO of Stumbling Cat.
The bedrock of Gittins’ plans for the IGDA is to better support its members and volunteer leaders and take a more active role in representing the needs and rights of the developer community. As part of that objective the IGDA will develop a multi-part initiative to foster the IGDA’s community through increased focus on global support for local chapters and special interest groups, while working to bring these communities together online. Gittins puts a strong emphasis on boosting benefits for the entire IGDA community, including established developers and industry newcomers.
“The success of the game industry and developers is the success of the IGDA. As a global organization, the IGDA is ready to take its support of developers to the next level,” said Gittins. “Having served on the IGDA board for years, I know the breadth of knowledge and experience each member brings to the table. Working together, we can continue to support and empower the lives and careers of game developers from all facets of the industry.”
“Renee has been an indie developer and a game community organizer for years, even before joining the board. I’m excited to have her lead the IGDA and provide a strong voice for game developers’ rights and needs worldwide,” said Lucien Parsons, IGDA board of directors chair who has served as interim executive director since MacLean stepped down in April. “The board of directors has the utmost confidence in her ability to make the IGDA an even better resource for game developers around the world.''
Nika Nour steps into the IGDAF executive director role after spending more than a decade with internet and video game companies working on social and cultural impact initiatives. In addition to her role at the ESA, she also served as director of communications and creative strategies for the Internet Association and new media specialist for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Under Nour, the IGDA Foundation will empower the next generation of diverse talent while advocating for current leaders in the industry. To inspire young people to leap into game development, the IGDAF will amplify the positive achievements of the industry and deliver on impact-oriented projects, foster new ideas, and collaborate on solutions.
“Diversity and inclusion efforts are critical to ensuring the growth and success of video game developers, players and businesses,” said Nour. “The industry can do more to support women, minorities, LGBTQ, accessibility needs and underserved communities, and the IGDA Foundation’s work would be incomplete if we didn’t focus on the whole inclusivity pipeline.”
“Nika has established herself as a leader in diversity and inclusion in our industry,” said Luke Dicken, chair of the IGDA Foundation board of trustees and interim executive director before Nour’s appointment. “I’m thoroughly excited by the skillset Nika Nour brings to the table, and can’t wait to see the impact she will have on our organization and more broadly this industry.”
For more information, please visit the IGDA website and IGDA Foundation website or follow the IGDA Twitter, IGDA Executive Director Twitter, IGDA Foundation Twitter, IGDA Facebook and IGDA Foundation Facebook. A new secretary will be chosen from the current IGDA board members in the near future.
About the International Game Developers Association (IGDA®)
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) is the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization serving all individuals who create games.
The IGDA is a U.S.-based 501©6 non-profit professional association and a global network of collaborative projects and communities of individuals from all fields of game development. The IGDA’s diverse membership encompasses programmers and producers, designers and artists, writers, business people, QA team members, localization experts, and anyone else who participates in the game development process.
The mission of the IGDA is to support and empower game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers.
For more info, please visit www.igda.org.
About the IGDA Foundation (IGDAF)
The IGDA Foundation advances a diverse workforce and ecosystem for the video game industry to better reflect the millions of passionate players enjoying video games worldwide.
The IGDAF focuses on promoting a game development community representative of, and welcoming and inclusive to, every person who wants to make games. The IGDAF garners support for diversity and inclusion in the video game industry with initiatives such as its IGDA Scholars, Velocity and Next Gen Leaders programs, with others in the pipeline.
The IGDA Foundation is a public charity, registered as a 501©3 organization in the United States.
To find out more about the IGDA Foundation’s initiatives visit http://igdafoundation.org.
Lena LeRay / Robert Brown
Stride PR for IGDA / IGDA Foundation