Staff & Board of Directors

IGDA Staff

The IGDA executive director and core staff are responsible for executing the vision and directives of the board and, together with our operational partners, are the force behind the day-to-day running of the IGDA.

Dr. Jakin Vela
Executive Director

Dr. Jakin Vela is a sociologist and researcher focused on socio-technical cultures, minority stress, stigma, and diversity inclusion in tech (especially games and the games industry). His work highlights the effects of marginalization, group solidarity, and inclusion in virtual gaming spaces and organizational structures, especially among underrepresented groups. He integrates his professional background in law, non-profit leadership, film production, entrepreneurship, and higher education to support the professional and career development of others. Jakin is an avid gamer (mainly PC & Nintendo), an amateur vegan cook and baker, and has been a singer-songwriter for over 15 years. He leads an LGBTQIA+ online gaming community in Final Fantasy XIV with his partner, Jordan.

Suzanne Freyjadis
Director of Global Development

Suzanne Freyjadis is the Director of Global Development for the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). She is a globalist, expert in diversity, inclusion and belonging and game education. Suzanne has a BA in International Relations and an MA in Women’s & Gender Studies where she focused on game studies. Her work pays particular attention to diverse and thought-provoking material on humanism, where advancing equal rights, compassion, and goodwill is crucial for a better world. She gives talks about game education, DEI as well as how to create more diverse, thoughtful, and inclusive games. Her goal is to continue to increase diversity and inclusivity through fair representation in the interactive media world.


Board of Directors

The board of directors is the governing body of the IGDA. The board oversees every aspect of the association, always acting in the best interest of the game developer community. One of the main roles of the IGDA board of directors is to create and maintain the mission and vision of the organization, including long-term planning, financial oversight, determining and monitoring programs, providing services and staff, and advocating for the IGDA. IGDA board directors are all volunteers.

Feel free to email the board with questions, comments, or suggestions at board [at] igda [dot] org.

Zak Whaley
Chair, Appointed Term: 2023–2026

Zak is a seasoned technology leader who currently serves as the Director of Engineering at PlayEveryWare, a co-development studio which supports highly successful titles such as Among Us and Fall Guys and renowned companies such as Epic Games and Riot Games. Prior to joining the studio, Zak played a key role in building an XR platform team at Magic Leap, where he utilized his technology expertise to empower computer vision engineers and end-users.

Zak is known for his stewardship leadership style, empowering teams to make informed decisions by providing them with clear information, structure, and guidance. He is a passionate technologist who develops best practices and tools for teams working with cutting-edge technology.

In addition to his role at PlayEveryWare, Zak also chairs the Engineering SIG of the IGDA which supports engineers from multiple sub-disciplines and levels of expertise.

Margaret Krohn
Emeritus, Appointed Term: 2024 – 2025

For the past 15 years, Margaret Krohn has helped businesses and individuals create and market their brand presence to achieve their goals and grow their communities.

She’s currently the Director of Communications for Intrepid Studios, who is creating the much-anticipated MMORPG Ashes of Creation, and she’s the CMO of Roll4It®, a tabletop role play broadcast production studio.


Natasha Skult
Appointed Term: 2024–2025

Natasha is the CEO & Creative Director of MiTale Ltd, a game development company from Finland focusing on narrative-driven experiences in mixed reality and gamification. She is an active member of the Finnish games industry as Chairperson of IGDA Finland and one of the founders of The Hive – Turku Game Hub (game business center in South-West Finland). Throughout her career she has been dedicated to empowering freedom of speech, equality and diversity, with belief that we all have our place in the gaming industry as our differences and uniqueness are shaping the industry into better and more united community. Some of the most recent programs she has been leading are IGDA Game Art SIG, IGDA Future and W Love Games Conference. Besides industry work, she is active in academic research and teaches courses in game design and game (digital) art production at the University of Turku.

Rami Ismail
Appointed Term: 2022–2025

Rami Ismail is a Dutch-Egyptian independent games & tool developer with over 20 titles across PC, console, web, and mobile. The co-founder of the influential now-retired indie games studio Vlambeer, Rami worked on award-winning and genre-defining games such as Ridiculous Fishing and Nuclear Throne. His development of tools like the industry-standard, his prolific & popular public speaking, and highly-regarded consultancy and insights have helped shape industry opportunities for game communities & independent game developers worldwide. Rami continues to advocate the creation of a fairer and more equal industry for developers anywhere through his work at His versatility and work resulted in him receiving a wide range of recognition, including the Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award, the IndieCade Gamechanger Award, and a Forbes 30 Under 30 nomination.

Guy Blomberg
Appointed Term: 2022–2025

Guy ‘Yug’ Blomberg has been working in games for over 20 years, overseeing global teams and building million-dollar commercial strategies. Previously the Global Gaming Content Director for Reedpop where he implemented strategy and content for PAX (USA & Australia), EGX (UK & Germany),, and launched events in France, Korea, and China. He has built up independent game media websites, marketed B2B publications in Asia Pacific, worked as a designer for SEGA Creative Assembly, and launched multiple gaming cocktail bars.

He is currently the Event Director for the DreamHack Festivals in North America and Founder of the Games Industry Gathering, alongside advising various games industry groups. He’s also an amateur card magician, though don’t hold that against him.










Tim Cullings
Treasurer, Elected Term: 2024–2027

Tim Cullings is a Seattle video games industry veteran, and champion for game development and climate science. He is currently the CTO of Revere XR, and Executive Director for Seattle Indies, and formerly the Executive Director and Director of Operations at Global Game Jam (GGJ). Prior to GGJ, Cullings worked in Dev Ops and Enterprise Engineering at Oculus helping ship everything between Rift and Quest 2. Cullings was honored as the IGDA MVP Award winner in 2021, formerly the Chapter lead for IGDA Seattle, NW-US Regional Coordinator for IGDA, and the Pacific NW Alumni Coordinator for IndieCade.

Valentina Birke
Appointed Term: 2023–2026

Valentina Birke works at Super Crowd Entertainment as the Director of Indie Arena Booth, the renowned showcase for independent video games. In addition to her work at Indie Arena Booth, Valentina is a valued member of the gaming community, serving as a jury member for esteemed awards such as the German Video Game Awards, the German Developer Awards, and the Gamecity Hamburgs Prototype Fund. Valentina’s contributions to the gaming industry extend beyond her work as a director and juror. As a freelance media educator and curator, she brings her expertise and passion to a variety of projects aimed at promoting inclusivity, diversity, and innovation. With her deep knowledge of the gaming industry and her commitment to social change, Valentina is a true thought leader and visionary. Her work has helped to elevate independent game developers and make the gaming industry a more welcoming and accessible place for all.

Limpho Moeti
Secretary, Appointed Term: 2023–2026

Limpho Moeti is a business developer who has been involved in the gaming Industry for seven years. She has worked with two of the biggest Studios in South Africa – Free Lives (Gorn, Broforce) and Nyamakop (Semblence). She is now a business development manager at RocketRide Games, a consulting agency in the video games space. She helped create and run an indie and interactive media festival Playtopia. Limpho has a deep passion for the gaming industry and has spoken at various events about representation, inclusivity, business development and how to minimize crunch.

When she isn’t working she can be found at home being a massive dork – playing D&D, reading comic books, annoying her cat, playing games or arguing with someone about Batman.

Nazih Fares
Elected Term: 2023–2026

Nazih Fares is an award-winning gaming professional with more than 14 years of experience in the game industry, who has worked in public relations, localization, marketing and esports for over 14 different gaming publishers and more than 90 global brands. He is The 4 Winds Entertainment’s current Head of Communications & Localization, overseeing a large team of localization and communication experts. Fares is actively involved in the IGDA’s Game Credits Special Interest Group and serves as the group’s Vice Chair.










Mafalda Duarte
Elected Term: 2024–2027

Mafalda Duarte is the Studio Director and Producer for Telescope Game Studios, an indie game studio focused on developing transmedia IPs. In addition to her work at Telescope, she is the Ambassador Coordinator for Women in Games. Duarte is one of the founders of Game Dev Lisbon. She has led projects like Spotlight Magazine, Spotlight Awards, and Game Dev Camp among others. She’s also served as a Juror for local and international awards from Novos Talentos FNAC to Devcom Indie Award 2023, and taught classes on game production and project planning.

Supporting Services

Brandon J. Huffman
General Counsel

Brandon is a lawyer at Odin Law and Media who helps game developers, game publishers, and tech and internet startups navigate the legal and regulatory side of their businesses. In addition to providing general counsel to the IGDA, he serves on the boards of the IGDA NC Triangle Chapter, Triangle ArtWorks, and the North Carolina Bar Association’s Sports and Entertainment Law section. He has presented to the American Bar Association (ABA) on topics such as regulation of business activity on the internet and the legal implications of Let’s Play videos, and he has written for both the ABA’s annual cyberspace law survey and the Media Law Resource Center’s privacy law updates. You can find him on Twitter @brandonjhuffman.


Stride PR

Stride PR serves as the IGDA’s media and press contact.

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Dina Said So Studio

Dina leads a team of marketing experts who can help your project get the attention it deserves. From social media management and crowdfunding marketing, to teaching you how to manage your own campaigns, Dina and her team are here to help! Dina Says So Studio helps IGDA with their marketing & communication strategy.

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Board Meeting Minutes

In keeping with its goal of increased transparency to members, the IGDA board of directors has made its board meeting minutes available in a public archive starting with the 2005-06 term. Minutes of the executive committee are marked with (EC).

Below are links to the minute archives by year.