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

Photo of Ashleigh Axios by David Wardrick

Ashleigh is the Design Exponent at Automattic, a company on a mission to democratize publishing and make the web a better place with products including She is also a board member for AIGA, the professional association of design, and on the editorial board of Design Observer.

Prior to her role at Automattic, Ashleigh served as the creative director and a digital strategist at the White House. As a part of the Obama administration, she worked in the Office of Digital Strategy to serve the mission of connecting the public with information and meaningful opportunities for engagement with the administration. Her achievements at the White House include leading the product and design strategy for two State of the Union addresses, helping President Obama speak to people where they were; leading the responsive redesign of (currently archived); the visual redesign of the White House petitions platform,  (now run by new administration); supporting the historic Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision with the rainbow White House; and establishing a digital system for presenting the Obama administration record.

Ashleigh is the president emeritus of AIGA Washington, D.C., where she served as a board member for five years and helped form DotGovDesign, an initiative connecting and empowering government designers. Ashleigh still supports these efforts with quarterly events, a yearly conference, and a new online course created in partnership with Aquent Federal.

She received many honors in the past couple of years, including:

In 2015, she was named one of GDUSA’s People to Watch, was featured by Essence Magazine as one of the 29 most powerful black women in the Obama administration, and received a 2016 and a 2017 DCFemTech Award for being a “powerful woman designer.”

Ashleigh and her work has been featured in Print, Essence, HOW, Net, and GDUSA magazines as well as various online publications, including: The Verge, AIGA (12), HOW DesignPrintPlaybook by Magic Johnson, Digital Arts Online, and The United State of Women.

She has served as a judge to competitions such as the 2015 HOW In-House Design Awards, 2016 RGD In-House Design Awards, and the Shorty Social Good Awards.

As a regular public speaker, Ashleigh has spoken at HOW, SVA’s Brandstand: Politics, RGD’s DesignThinkers Conference, Spikes Asia, Circles Conference, and the first-ever D&AD Festival in London.

Prior to her two roles at the White House, she served as the manager of online editorial and engagement for the National Wildlife Federation, interactive designer for Cortina Productions, and graphic designer for openbox9, Fleishman–Hillard Digital, and Rhode Island School of Design, where she received a BFA in graphic design (and met her husband, Nathaniel Axios).

Read Ashleigh’s resume to learn more about her professional history.