Ashleigh Axios is an international speaker, strategic creative, and an advocate for design's ability to break barriers and create positive social change.

Ashleigh Axios is a national board member — President Elect and Executive Committee Chair — for AIGA, the professional association of design.

At Automattic, a technology company on a mission to democratize publishing and commerce, Ashleigh formed and led the in-house creative agency for marketing, communications, and brand identity solutions. Prior to her role at Automattic, Ashleigh served as the creative director and a digital strategist for the Obama White House, bridging two presidential terms in the Office of Digital Strategy. She is also the president emeritus of AIGA Washington D.C., where she formed DotGovDesign, an initiative connecting and empowering government designers with regular meetings, a yearly conference, and online course. Read Ashleigh's resume to learn more about her professional history.

Ashleigh is a graduate from, and an alumni advisor to, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She lives and works in Washington, DC with her husband, Nathaniel Axios, and their two cats.

Photo by  Lawrence Jackson , February 2018

Photo by Lawrence Jackson, February 2018

Select Accolades

Power Woman
in Design

2016, 2017, 2019

Recognizing Power Women in Code, Design, and Data based in the Washington, DC region based on the nominations of the community.


A Powerful Black WomAn Calling the ShoTS

Essence Magazine

Introducing the dynamic black women who were responsible for keeping President Obama’s administration running.

32 Under 32

Magic Johnson

Recognizing those who exhibit the professionalism, hard work, values and talents to lead tomorrow’s business culture.


Person to Watch


Recognizing those who embody the spirit of the creative community for their talent, leadership, success, newsworthiness and community service.


Select Interviews

MagazineS &
Online publications


Public Speaking

Ashleigh has spoken at dozens of conferences, colleges, marketing and design events across the globe. She often speaks about design leadership, innovating in intense environments, inclusion in design and technology spaces, design in government, and the intersection of design and culture. For a complete list of past events and information on upcoming talks, see the Speaking page. Invite her speak at your event through the Contact page.

Following are some speaking highlights.


  • HOW Design Live

  • AIGA Design Conference

  • Hopscotch Design Festival

  • DesignThinkers

  • Spikes Asia

  • The D&AD Festival

  • 3% Conference

  • 99U


  • Wesleyan

  • SVA

  • Harvard

  • Parsons

  • RISD

  • Yale


  • IBM

  • Mattel Inc

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