Joseph Olin has been appointed executive director of the International Digital Media & Arts Association (iDMAa), a decision the organization said would provide new strategic direction and focus as it positions itself as a champion for educators and creators in digital media arts.

Olin previously served as president of the Academy of Interactive Arts. He replaces Ray Steele, who is becoming the senior executive director emeritus of the association he founded in 2002.

“iDMAa is about to mark its 10th anniversary in 2012 and Joseph Olin has just the right set of talents and experience to lead the association into its second decade,” Steele said. “It is a perfect opportunity for us to have Joseph involved in iDMAa’s future direction and we are convinced that he can help us take a major step forward for our members and for the broad field of digital media and arts.”

Olin currently also serves as chief operating officer for Credible Research Corp., where he drives the development of a new genre of online social games like, which is still in beta. He also consults with a number of technology and entertainment companies on strategy and product development.

In January 2011, Olin joined the faculty of the University of Southern California as an adjunct professor in the School of Cinematic Art teaching game design. He had resigned his position with the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences in October 2010, a tenure that saw the organization’s membership grow from 3,000 to 20,000.

Before that, Olin was best known as a close personal friend of Lara Croft, since he led the launch of the Tomb Raider franchise as vice president of marketing and business development for EIDOS Interactive.

His earlier achievements include serving as senior partner and group account director at Ogilvy & Mather responsible for the Barbie, Mattel Electronics, Disney toys and plush products campaigns, and several other senior level positions in game publishing, advertising, sales and marketing.

“The iDMAa is an important organization for the academic community that shapes the digital media art community by providing a forum for educators to exchange ideas and recognize their contributions and achievements which enrich anyone using a computer or connected handheld device today,” Olin said. “By taking on my new role with the organization, our goal is to increase the awareness of the organization amongst stakeholders and membership.”

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