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Executive Board

Mariana Amatullo, Director
Mariana Amatullo founded the college-wide initiative Designmatters at Art Center College of Design, based in Pasadena, California in 2001. In her capacity as the lead of the program, she develops strategic educational partnerships and oversees a portfolio of research collaborations, communication campaigns, exhibitions and publications that enhance Art Center’s commitment to be at the forefront of international design education and contribute solutions to humanitarian issues of critical urgency. Through her leadership, Art Center is the first design institution to be formally affiliated with the Department of Public Information at the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO); and a civil society organization member with the Organization of American States (OAS/OEA). The award-winning and tangible outcomes of the student projects that are developed under the mantle of Designmatters have established the program as an exemplary effort within the landscape of social impact design--uniting educational objectives with highly effective advocacy and action-oriented outcomes.

From 2005 through 2008, Ms. Amatullo acted as the Director of The Los Angeles Earthquake: Get Ready Project, a multi-component research and communication initiative that brought together federal, state and city agencies with academia and leading experts to address earthquake mitigation in Southern California. As a steering committee member of The Great Southern California ShakeOut, Amatullo was part of a public awareness effort that reached over five million Southern Californians in an unprecedented earthquake drill held in November 2008.

Through her leadership of Designmatters, Amatullo is an active essayist and international conference speaker about best practices in communication and design for social impact. A few of the most recent Designmatters publications under her direction include The Los Angeles Earthquake Sourcebook (D.A.P, Spring 2009); Images Speak: The Mpala Health Education Projects (2008); From Hi-FI to Lo-Fi, Sharing Digital Born Stories in the Developing World (a collaboration with UNICEF, 2008) and Stigma (a collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, 2006).

Amatullo serves on a variety of advisory boards and networks engaged in the arts, design education and social activism, including Design 21 (in partnership with UNESCO); she is a founding member of the University of Southern California International Museum Institute and was part of the editorial committee for Beyond the Turnstile: Making the case for Museums and Sustainable Values (Altamira Press, forthcoming publication 2009).

Prior to joining Art Center in 2000, Amatullo pursued a variety of research and curatorial projects and held positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1992-1996) and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1991). Mariana holds an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Southern California (1994) and a Licence en Lettres Degree from the Sorbonne University, Paris (1989). Her undergraduate studies included two years at l’Ecole du Louvre, Paris. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and brought up internationally through the Argentine diplomatic corps, Amatullo lives in Pasadena with her husband and two boys.