The International Game Developers Association announced it has appointed Dr. Jakin Vela as its new executive director, succeeding Renee Gittens. It’s also added three new members to its board of directors.

Vela was previously interim executive director after Gittens stepped down in January, and was manager of global development before that. He is also CEO of Astral Interactive LLC and principal advisor of MagiTech Management Solutions LLC. As executive director, he plans to prioritize support systems for developers in emerging markets, building partnerships, and creating a sense of solidarity among the global gaming community.

Dr. Vela said in a statement, “To work in games is to work in a global industry, no matter where you are. As the largest organization that supports individual game developers, we must ensure we’re building and sustaining a sturdy and inclusive bridge between our communities’ local region and the global industry at large. 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. 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.”

The new board members are Rami Ismail of Vlambeer, who recently spoke at GamesBeat Summit; Guy Blomberg, studio director at RiffRaff Games; and Tarja Porkka-Kontturi, director of communications at Global Game Jam.

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