Naresh Ramchandani, Pentagram partner and one-time founder of both St Luke’s and Karmarama, will succeed Kate Stanners, Saatchi and Saatchi Worldwide chief creative officer, as D&AD president for 20/21.
The D&AD President is elected annually from the Board of Trustees to champion the organisation’s mission and shape the conversations for the year ahead. Ramchandani’s commitment to creativity, diversity and environmental activism – expressed in part through the environmental non-profit he helps to run, Do the Green Thing – resonates with D&AD’s overall mission to stimulate and celebrate excellence in commercial creativity and, as part of that, campaign for a fairer, more diverse industry.
Ramchandani will focus his efforts as president on addressing the challenges currently being faced by the creative industries. In his new role, he will amplify and advocate existing programmes as well as champion new routes into the industry for emerging creatives and under-represented voices at a time when it is needed more than ever. He will also work with D&AD and the board of trustees to investigate how creativity can tackle global issues and will explore how the sector can help combat climate change by amplifying environmental protest and sustainable practice.
Ramchandani commented, “I’m very honoured to be offered this position, and I’m excited to be working with D&AD and its trustees to help the creative industry engage with the many challenges it faces today. I’m looking forward to exploring how creatives and their agencies can engage with their social impact and do so with the highest standards of creativity.”
D&AD has also announced that Rebecca Wright, dean of academic programmes at Central St Martins/UAL, will become deputy president, automatically succeeding to the Presidency in 21/22. Ben Terrett, founder of Public Digital and Kate’s deputy this year, has chosen to step aside from the presidency.
Terrett commented, “I love D&AD and I’m a passionate supporter. I’ve wanted to be D&AD President for as long as I can remember. But now that the time has come for me to take up the Presidency, I feel strongly that I must step aside to allow Naresh and then Rebecca to take on the role a year earlier. I feel there is an absolute need for more diversity in symbolic leadership positions to help drive our sector forward and I think it is my responsibility to do what I can to help make that possible. I hope this sets an example for other people like me.”
Tim Lindsay, D&AD chairman, commented, “Firstly, I’d like to thank Kate Stanners for a wonderful presidency in, to put it mildly, challenging circumstances. She has given us the enormous benefit of her time, experience, wisdom and judgement and been central to us delivering the key parts of our programme successfully. And all done with enormous good humour and immense style. Naresh’s appointment speaks for itself. He is an industry legend, a positive provocateur and a strong believer in making the right ethical choices for our industry. Rebecca’s appointment – which is a break with tradition for D&AD – means she will be our first deputy/ president from the academic world, at a time when finding, nurturing and supporting young talent has never been more important. And finally, can I say we respect Ben’s decision and the statement he’s making and are thankful that he will stay on as a trustee.”