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Ashley Deese    

Manager of Digital Media at Smithsonian Institution

Ashley Deese is the Manager of Digital Media at the Smithsonian Science Education Center, at the Smithsonian Institution, where she leads the digital media team throughout the production and distribution of Smithsonian STEM products such as game apps, interactives, and videos for children around the world. Ashley has produced internationally acclaimed and bestselling game apps for the Smithsonian such as “BumperDucks,” “Disaster Detector,” and “Showbiz Safari.” Ashley’s game app, “Morphy!,” received an honoree award by The Webby Awards in 2016. “Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game” was a 2018 nominee for The Webby Awards inaugural games category for Public Service & Activism. Ashley was named to the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for her work in games. Ashley’s games have been played in over 100 countries and has topped the Top Charts on the Apple App Store worldwide.

Ashley is a voting member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a member of the Smithsonian Networks Review Committee for Smithsonian Channel, a Smithsonian unit editor for the Smithsonian Magazine Voices blog, member of the digital advisory board for the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative, the Smithsonian representative for the White House’s Computer Science for All initiative, and the co-chair for Smithsonian Gaming. She has helped fundraise for digital development and served as a co-principal investigator for several grants related to game development. She has presented her game apps around the Smithsonian, DC, and across the United States. She earned her BS in Biology from Methodist University and a MA in Interactive Media from Elon University.

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