City announces appointment of World Design CEO

By philip
25 January 2013

The City of Cape Town has announced the appointment of Alayne Reesberg as the Chief Executive Officer of Cape Town Design, the World Design Capital’s (WDC2014) implementing agency.

Reesberg was officially appointed at the start of this month to head Cape Town Design, the not-for-profit company tasked with implementing the World Design Capital 2014 year of signature events.

She wants the accolade to cast the spotlight onto Cape Town’s design community, showcasing local innovation on the international stage.

“We are getting closer to, under the banner of World Design Capital for 2014, implementing the changes we want to see in our city – changes that will benefit all communities across Cape Town. With the appointment of Ms Reesberg, we are well on our way towards realising a better designed city, and, with that, a better life for our residents,” said Councillor Grant Pascoe, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing.

Her appointment comes after a lengthy process, which kicked off with the call for applications for the position late last year.

Born in Ladismith (Western Cape), Reesberg earned her Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Cape Town. She then went on to obtain a Masters in Communication from the University of Montana.

With a career spanning 30 years, Reesberg has worked at several of the world’s biggest firms. At the Redmond, Washington State Microsoft Corporation headquarters, she managed Bill Gates’ annual Microsoft CEO Summits for six years.

Closer to home, Reesberg was the South Africa producer for the FORTUNE Time CNN Global Forum in Cape Town in 2010. During this project, Reesberg integrated a business agenda into the programmes around the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Apart from the private sector, Reesberg also spent time in international diplomacy. She was part of the South African diplomatic team that negotiated the withdrawal of the Cuban troops from Angola, leading to Namibian independence.

Reesberg also served at the United Nations at the New York, Washington DC and London missions.

She is currently working with Richard Perez, the City of Cape Town’s WDC Director, to hand over the management of the implementation of WDC. Richard will remain working closely with Alayne to ensure that the City provides the necessary support to the implementing company as well as ensure that the City’s initiatives for WDC are implemented successfully.

One of her first priorities will be to put together a strong team who will implement the WDC’s flagship initiatives next year.

The agency will be ready to start calling for World Design Capital 2014 proposals from the public next month.

“I am looking forward to what the designation as World Design Capital potentially means for the local design community. The Cape Town design community has gained wide recognition in the past few years. The designation as World Design Capital 2014 is an unprecedented opportunity to expand this reputation to a truly global audience,” Reesberg said.

The official WDC2014 website is currently under construction, but you can visit it to register your details for further correspondence.
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