Next Creative Leaders

Next Creative Leaders is a portfolio competition that identifies, celebrates, and gives a global platform to talented, gender expansive creatives who are making their mark on the world with both their work and a unique point of view on creative leadership.

2017 Next Creative Leaders - NCL Profile

Kate Desmarais

Agency Kate Desmarais

Client NCL 2017


NCL 2017

Annual ID


Next Creative Leaders 2017 - Winner Profile

Kate Desmarais

Kate Desmarais

Associate Creative Director

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I started my career at Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town in 2009 where I was lucky enough to work with amazing creatives leaders who encouraged me to have an opinion and to use my passions and point of view to make work that makes a difference. Four years later, after being named South African Young Creative of the Year, I decided to expand my horizons and move to Hong Kong.

As a senior writer at J. Walter Thompson Hong Kong, I got to lead an international team of creatives on major regional accounts. 2 years later, I packed up again and moved to Chicago to take up my current role as Associate Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather.

Since moving to Chicago a year ago, I have had the opportunity to mentor and lead young creatives within the agency, as well as participate as a mentor in the first AdHer workshop, a Chicago initiative that aims to inspire young women from diverse backgrounds through creativity and strive for positive change in our industry through diversity and inclusion.

I recently emailed my former creative director to say, "I think of you often, especially now that I have to manage my own opinionated young creatives, and realise what a pain in the ass I must have been." So here's to the pain-in-the-ass, opinionated, fearless, female creative leaders. May we be them and raise them.

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2017 Awards

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