NEW YORK, April 29, 2015.

Richard Grefé, executive director of AIGA, the professional association for design, announced today that he will step down from his post at the end of 2015, following two decades in the role, culminating in 2014’s celebration of AIGA’s centennial.

AIGA membership has tripled over Grefé’s tenure to more than 25,000, and AIGA now supports 70 vibrant volunteer-led chapters across the United States as well as several global affiliates.

AIGA board President Sean Adams commented: “We are deeply indebted to Ric for his insightful and spirited leadership. For two decades now, he has boldly and skillfully stewarded our organization to new heights with extraordinary acumen, intelligence, and care, and his influence will be felt for years to come.”

Grefé and the board had long considered this point an opportune time to turn the leadership over to a new generation, as AIGA enters its second century. Accordingly, a fresh strategic direction was developed with members and chapters, an endowment has been established for the long-term strength of the association, and the staff has moved to new offices.

Says Grefé: “Over the past 20 years, I have been privileged to help strengthen AIGA as it serves a profession that is evolving in terms of disciplines, audiences, technology and media. In an era of social media, wider access to information, and a new generation of designers, this is also an exciting time to redefine the role of an association. It has been a great honor to lead AIGA for the past two decades, and I am eager to see it accomplish even greater influence and visibility in the years ahead.”

AIGA’s board of directors has formed an eight-member search committee chaired by Adams and assisted by the national executive search firm of Isaacson, Miller, as well as past AIGA board presidents. Their search will officially launch in June, with the expectation that a new executive director will be selected by year’s end, to begin in early 2016.

About AIGA
AIGA, the professional association for design, advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage, and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, AIGA brings together practitioners, enthusiasts, and patrons to amplify the voice of design and creates the vision for a collective future. AIGA defines global standards and ethical practices, guides design education, inspires designers and the public, enhances professional development, and makes powerful tools and resources accessible to all. Learn more at

For further information, please contact:
Rory Levine, director of marketing and communications
AIGA | the professional association for design
Tel 212 710 3126
[email protected]

Contact Leadership

Rich Higgins
Rich Higgins
Vice President
Rich Higgins is the Creative Director at Parallel Retail Group. His background is as diverse as a platypus.

He started his own design studio, Oryx & Moth, doing branding, art direction and design for clients big and small. Meanwhile he was the chair of the Solopreneurs Committee for AIGA MN (2022-2023) and served on the Design Student & Alumni Board at the University of Minnesota (2010-2013). Prior to that he worked at TSG, a design agency in Robbinsdale, for clients including: Target, HealthPartners and Crate & Barrel. He's also had a short stint designing for financial institutions (PNC Bank, Citibank and BBVA Compass). He started out designing and art directing photo shoots for multiple national salon chains throughout the US and Canada. And has had mediocre hairstyles since.

His interests vary widely with the season but he always willing to chat about DIY projects, soccer, LEGO, minimalism, FIRE, AI, technology, saunas, traveling, camping, parenting, etc.