From Luke Dicken, IGDA Foundation Chair:
As an organisation, the IGDA Foundation has achieved some incredible things – and surpassed all my expectations when I first took over as Chair a little more than two years ago. We’ve grown and become much better at providing resources and support for people and groups throughout the games industry. We’ve been able to build our Scholarships programs to include the Women in Games Ambassadors, broaden our support for IGDA Chapters, SIGs and the community at large, as well as supporting initiatives around the globe from Australia to Europe to America. But there is always more to do.
Today I am excited and honored to introduce the next chapter of the IGDA Foundation, as we bring in our first member of staff to build on our successes and become better at providing more support throughout the industry. I couldn’t be prouder to announce that the IGDA Foundation Board of Trustees has appointed Jen MacLean as our Managing Director, effective immediately. Jen has almost 25 years of experience in the games industry, with 20 of those in a leadership capacity. She began her career in playtesting, and has risen to hold executive positions at multiple companies, giving her a breadth of familiarity with the games industry that few can claim. For the past year, Jen has also volunteered on the Foundation Board of Trustees in her spare time, so between her wealth of experience at strategic leadership and her detailed knowledge of the operation of the Foundation, she is a natural and clear choice to take on this exciting role. I think it’s safe to say that we are very lucky to have her take on this new challenge!
I described this as a new chapter for us, and that is the most apt way I can think to put it. So many things have been set aside “until we have staff support” or “until we can spare the bandwidth”. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved to date, but there is so much more we want to do, and so much more that we need to do to more adequately support the global game development community. Bringing in a Managing Director is the first step towards accomplishing these goals, and unlocking our potential to do even more good. I can’t think of anyone I would trust in this role more than Jen, and I’m so excited to work alongside her to realize our joint ambitions for the organisation and for the future support we’ll be able to offer the community.
From Jen MacLean, IGDA Foundation Managing Director:
As a longtime supporter of the IGDA and IGDA Foundation, I was honored last year when Luke Dicken asked me to join the Board of Trustees. Over the past fifteen months, I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand the difference the Foundation makes through the generous support of our donors and volunteers, and also appreciate how much more we can do. Over the past year, we’ve impacted hundreds of game developers, and formed a strategy which makes increasing diversity in the industry-and consequently the overall success of our companies and careers-our top priority.
When the opportunity came to join the Foundation as its Managing Director, I was thrilled to be able to take a more active role in leading the work of the Foundation. With new consumer platforms like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality emerging, an explosion in serious gaming, changing monetization models, and increasing discoverability challenges, game development has never had more opportunity or challenges. The mission of the IGDA Foundation is to improve the lives of game developers through charitable, educational, and scientific work, and this purpose has never been more relevant.
The IGDA Foundation has a lofty goal and high purpose: make game development as a profession more diverse, more fulfilling, and more valued. In the upcoming weeks and months, you’ll be hearing more from me about the ways in which the IGDA Foundation supports these goals and works with our donors and volunteers to make a difference to game developers everywhere, from students making their first game to established industry luminaries. I’m honored to help lead the Foundation as we expand our impact and improve game development for everyone.
To learn more about the IGDA Foundation, our programs, and how we’re improving the profession of game development, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.