The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has appointed Kate Edwards as its new executive director, replacing Gordon Bellamy who resigned from the role in July of this year to work with Chinese publishing giant Tencent.
Edwards, who will be leading the global organization effective immediately, brings a wealth of experience to the role, such as being the founder and chair of the IGDA Game Localization Summit, her time as a geopolitical strategist at Microsoft, senior advisor at Business of Diplomatic Action and her geography consultancy work for Google, EA, BioWare, National Geographic, TomTom and more.
In an introductory blog entry posted to the IGDA website, Edwards gave a brief overview of what she aims to accomplish in her role as executive director:
1. Reemphasize the "I" in IGDA: We are not a U.S.-only organization that happens to exist in other countries; we are an international organization that happens to have a large U.S. membership. We will improve our inclusion of people, best practices and creativity from ALL chapters worldwide by better managing the communication and execution of ideas to and from IGDA leadership. This starts with direct access to the Executive Director.
2. Reassert the IGDA's relevance: The IGDA will be more proactive and visionary as a force in our industry. We will reassert a thought leadership position for issues affecting game developers and to achieve this, I will rely on our vast SIG-based expertise on key topics.
3. Reiterate the IGDA's value proposition: We can demonstrate the value of our membership through stronger partnerships and incentives internationally, nationally and locally; an IGDA membership should benefit members at any level, from those in major studios to indie developers. And yes, we'll finally get the website issue resolved, a task already in progress.
4. Reinforce the IGDA as a professional collaboration: I see a membership of incredible volunteers being proactive to engage and feeling empowered to act on their initiatives. Our mutual respect for one another - regardless of our genders, ages, nationalities and so forth - needs to be an example to those who play our games.
To ensure that members of the gaming community have access to the IGDA's executive director, Edwards lists her availabilities and her email address for anyone who wishes to get in contact with her to discuss any topics that might be of concern.