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Dr. Jakin Vela is the new executive director of the IGDA

"When operating from a position of global solidarity and connectedness, game developers can reach new heights."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

May 18, 2022

1 Min Read
The IGDA logo

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has named Dr. Jakin Vela as its new executive director after Renee Gittins vacated the role earlier this year.

Gittins stepped down as executive director to join Phoenix Labs as a general manager. Vela initially replaced Gittins in an interim capacity but has now been named as her permanent successor. 

Prior to his appointment, Vela also served as the IGDA's manager of global development, where he worked to bolster communication and collaboration across the IGDA's various developer communities.

Moving forward, Vela intends to strengthen IGDA's support systems for global game development communities with a focus on those in emerging markets and ecosystems. He also hopes to cultivate a stronger sense of solidarity among the organization's international membership.

"The power of a global network is limitless. In my time with the IGDA, I have seen how communities support one another through speaking engagements, sharing best practices, connecting one another to new opportunities that can help progress developers and their local games ecosystem," said Vela.

"This is a relationship-based industry at its core, and when operating from a position of global solidarity and connectedness, game developers can reach new heights."

Vela's appointment comes shortly after the IGDA apologized for mishandling investigations into multiple members who had been accused of misconduct.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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