Introducing Our AIGA50 Judges

By Juan Pablo Madrid, AIGA50 Chair and Board Member of AIGA DC

We have searched the nation for experts across creative disciplines to select this year’s AIGA50 winners, and we’re so excited for you to meet them:

Meet Our Judges

Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman
Image courtesy of Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman is host of the award-winning podcast, Design Matters, one of the first and longest running podcasts in the world; Chair of the first ever Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts, Co-owner and Editorial Director of, and the author of seven books on design and branding. She has worked on the design and strategy of over 200 of the world’s largest brands.

Hank Washington

Image courtesy of Hank Washington

Cornelius “Hank” Washington is an Art director, designer, and illustrator born and raised in the muddy backwoods of Mississippi. Hank grew up in a small town where creativity wasn’t considered a sustainable lifestyle. Inspired by his older brother, Hank was introduced to the idea of creativity through watching his older brother collect music, comics, games, and illustrating doodles in a number of sketch books. After studying design at Mississippi State University, he explored independent projects. These projects were a variety of different demands that included branding design, campaign art direction, motion, illustration and more. The clients ranged from out-of-the-garage ideas to brands like Dick’s Sporting Goods. Soon, Hank ventured out to create Hank Designs Studio, a creative studio aimed to help small teams with branding and art direction, in 2016 and worked with clients such as Netflix, Instagram, Snapchat, Fiverr, and more. 

Samia Saleem

Image courtesy of Samia Saleem

Samia Saleem is a Sr. Director of User Experience Design at Nike working in Operational Experiences for Nike’s Enterprise. Her Design team, Technical Product Experience Design (TPxD), consists of UX Designers and Design System Engineers working across various areas of Nike’s Global Technology initiatives including HR Transformation, Digital First Supply Chain, and Enterprise Design, to name a few. Before Nike, Samia was a Head of UX at Unity, a 3D game engine, where she led a global design team. She has also worked for TechStars, redesigned the internal Blue Bottle coffee subscription, worked on a Francis Ford Coppola Winery redesign, and started her own social-mapping start-up. She has over 20 years of experience working with startups, tech companies, and creative agencies for both consumer and enterprise experiences. Samia loves bringing design teams together with product and engineering to have a user-centric focus using Design Thinking methods.

Natalie Buda Smith

Image courtesy of Natalie Buda Smith

Natalie Buda Smith is the Director of Digital Strategy at the Library of Congress. She is a leader in digital transformation through data insights and user-centered design practices with over 30 years of experience developing experiences for a variety of organizations. She has built large teams at NavigationArts, IBM, and now the Library of Congress, and has worked for clients in the U.S., Europe, and India. She is strongly committed to human-centered products and services that adhere to best practices in inclusion, diversity, and accessibility.

Submit Your Work

Don’t wait to submit your work and have the chance to have it reviewed by this panel of renowned design experts from across the country! 

By JP Madrid
Published March 19, 2023