Home Museum institution City Life Org – Cooper Hewitt Announces New Board Appointments

City Life Org – Cooper Hewitt Announces New Board Appointments


Photo: Cooper Hewitt

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum today announced four appointments to its Board of Trustees: Jennifer Deason, Paul Leinwand, Natalie Nixon and Ivy Ross.

“I am delighted to welcome this dynamic group to the Cooper Hewitt Board of Directors,” said Maria Nicanor, Director of Cooper Hewitt. “Jennifer, Paul, Natalie and Ivy could not be better placed to help drive our new vision for Cooper Hewitt forward in the years to come. We are truly honored to have them join an already stellar Board of Directors with their deep expertise. in design and their exemplary track records as thoughtful leaders in their fields.

“On behalf of my fellow directors, I warmly welcome an outstanding group of new board members,” said Jon Iwata, Chairman of the Board of Cooper Hewitt. “Each demonstrated a strong commitment to design and a passion for the potential of design to enrich lives and make the world work better. As a national design museum, Cooper Hewitt will benefit greatly from their expertise and enthusiasm.


Jennifer Desson is the Chairman and CEO of Belong Capital, which focuses on digital media, e-commerce, software and consumer technology. She has spent the past 25 years driving growth and value creation across a wide range of businesses. Prior to founding Belong, she was CFO and Chief Commercial Officer of Flowcode; served as Global Head of Strategy and Business Development at Sotheby’s; and Chief Financial Officer of Weather Company, where she was part of the leadership team that pivoted the company to digital data. She currently sits on the boards of Margaux Shoes, Concentrix, DHI, Mastercraft and MASSMoCA.


Paul Leinwand is the Global Managing Director of Capability-Driven Strategy and Growth for Strategy&, PwC’s strategy advisory business, where he serves global clients through large-scale strategy and transformation efforts. Leinwand is also an Adjunct Professor of Strategy at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is the co-author of a series of books with Harvard Business Press, the most recent of which, Beyond digital: how great leaders are transforming their organizations and shaping the future (2022). Leinwand is a member of the board of directors of Genuine Scooter Company and the Goodman Theater, and has served as a strategic advisor to numerous non-profit organizations.


Natalie Nixon, Ph.D. is creativity strategist and CEO of Figure 8 Thinking, where she brings her background in anthropology, fashion, academia and dance to advise leaders on transformation. Prior to Figure 8 Thinking, Nixon was a founding professor and director of the Strategic Design MBA Program at Thomas Jefferson University. She is the author of The Creativity Leap: Unleash curiosity, improvisation and intuition at work (2020) and editor of Strategic design thinking: innovation in products, services and beyond (2015). A much-requested keynote speaker, Nixon speaks to audiences around the world on creativity, innovation and the future of work.


Ivy Ross is vice president of design for the hardware product area at Google, where she and her team launched a family of consumer hardware products, from smartphones to smart speakers. Previously, Ivy held leadership positions ranging from head of product design and development to CMO and presidents at several companies, including Calvin Klein, Swatch, Coach, Mattel, Bausch & Lomb and Gap. Ivy has contributed to many books, including The Change Champion Field Guide (2013). A recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, she is renowned for her innovative metalwork in jewelry, which is part of the permanent collections of 12 international museums.


Cooper Hewitt is America’s design museum. Inclusive, innovative and experimental, the museum’s dynamic exhibitions, educational programs, master’s program, publications and online resources inspire, educate and empower people through design. Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, Cooper Hewitt is located on New York’s Museum Mile in the historic Carnegie Mansion. Steward of one of the most diverse and comprehensive design collections in the world – over 215,000 objects ranging from an ancient Egyptian earthenware cup dating from around 1100 BC to contemporary 3D printed objects and code digital – Cooper Hewitt invites everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world.

For more information, visit www.cooperhewitt.org or follow @cooperhewitt on instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.