Portrait of Ashley Leon

Ashley Leon, M.B.A.

Award-Winning Art Director • Business Development and Communications Expertise

  • Innovative designer with over a decade of experience maintaining high and consistent standards for all communications, including marketing, advertising, publications, events, and outreach materials.
  • Specific experience in federal space working with clients including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Equipped with impressive portfolio of project successes and background developing processes for creative projects – elevating brand through design and production of award-winning materials.
  • Expertly leads and works with creative, marketing and strategic teams, ensuring brand consistency across social media, print, and external communications platforms.


Visual Branding • Design • Production • 508 Compliance & Accessibility • Social Media Content • Publications & Outreach Materials • Integrated Campaigns • Strategic Communications • Print & Digital Design Trends • Conferences & Events • User Experience & Research • Staff Engagement • Vendor Negotiations • Collateral Creation • Standard Operating Procedures & Protocols (SOPs) • Creative Project Process Development • Training Programs Competitive Bids • Business Development • Federal & Nonprofit Clients


ART DIRECTOR – Palladian Partners 2014 – 2018; Silver Spring, MD

Orchestrated strategic visual, digital, and interactive design projects for major scientific, biomedical, and health contracts with Federal government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), FDA, and NIH. Coordinated cross-functionally across departments while leading the design team in creation of digital and print campaign materials. Collaborated in new business development efforts, including proposal coordination and development, client facing pitches, and presentations. Drove creative, marketing, strategic planning, gap analysis, user research, and data evaluations. Led product development lifecycles, ensuring timely, within-budget, and quality deliverables with multiplatform and multichannel versatility.

Select Accomplishments & Projects:

  • Achieved corporate turnaround from losses to 100% billable utilization in six weeks via operational streamlining, development of project forecasting tools, and up-selling of creative services. Played role in securing over $1M in additional projects from satisfied clients by ensuring quality work within expedited timelines and competitive proposal responses.
  • Cut overhead cost by $10,000+ per year with renegotiation of contract terms for stock photography licenses and vendor consolidation going from $17,000+ in indirect annual costs to $6,800 in direct costs.
  • Swiftly promoted twice over one year starting as Graphic and Interactive Designer, to Assistant Art Director, to Art Director for excellence, responsiveness, and technical expertise.
  • Reduced lead time on social media content for clients from 4-6 weeks to one hour by establishing processes to enable swift completion and clearance of materials. Additionally, played a key role in establishing the Instagram following for National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) going from zero presence to 1,400+ followers in just 15 months.

PRODUCT MARKETING COORDINATOR – ICF International 2012 – 2014; Calverton, MD

Oversaw development and launch of social media strategy and continued outreach. Served as primary liaison between multiple teams including project management, PR, communications and client. Managed analytics, generated reports, and formulated comprehensive risk management and outreach plans. Authored content and created visual strategy based on KPI analysis.

Select Accomplishments & Projects:

  • Secured 100,000 impressions in one month, a 340% increase over one month, and increased publication orders by 4,000 through direction and execution of creative promotional products in English and Spanish. Products included a social media campaign, Time Square advertisement, media articles, press releases, PSAs, posters and 508-compliant media.
  • Established a social media presence, attracting 10,000 followers within three years on Facebook, 1,000 followers Twitter, and helped spearhead the launch of Pinterest accounts with client.

VISUAL & INTERACTIVE DESIGNER – SHS Macro 2006 – 2012; Rockville, MD

Designed digital and print materials, prepared files for press and e-delivery, and coordinated production with vendors. Created branding systems and related documentation/SOPs. Retrofitted and created accessible, Section 508-compliant publications. Collaborated with federal clients including the Surgeon General, CDC, DoD, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and NIH on campaigns covering tobaccos cessation, substance abuse, childhood trauma, grief and suicide prevention.

Select Accomplishments & Projects:

  • Prepared 770-page Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report for distribution including content layout and visuals for digital and print production. Completed project within 30 day timeframe with minimal errors. Received listing in acknowledgment section of final report from client for outstanding work on this project.
  • Directed end-to-end production of 150+ business proposals during tenure encompassing 20+ stakeholders in multiple departments and sometimes international offices. Completed 70 proposals in a one year period.


HEALTH & WELLNESS DESIGN AWARD – Graphic  Design USA 2016 & 2018

PLATINUM AVA  DIGITAL AWARD – Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals (AMCP) 2018

DIGITAL HEALTH AWARD – Health Information  Resource Center 2015, 2016 & 2017

AMERICAN WEB DESIGN AWARD – Graphic  Design USA 2016 & 2017




SILVER COMMUNICATOR AWARD – Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts 2016

BRONZE DESIGN AWARD – Creativity International 2016


PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT – General Assembly 2018

DATA ANALYTICS CIRCUIT – General Assembly 2018





Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, InDesign, InCopy, Photoshop, XD, Spark, Lightroom, Bridge, Acrobat) Mac/PC/Tablet Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) Project management (Basecamp, RoboHead, Trello, SmartSheets) Sketch ProCreate Affinity Balsamiq InVision WordPress (CMS) e-mail (MailChimp, govDelivery) Responsive design Facebook Insights Google Analytics Twitter Analytics HootSuite SocialBakers Data visualization Digital asset management Accessibility & Section 508 compliance SEO


M.B.A., Business Administration – Southern New Hampshire University 2015;  Hookset, NH

Graduate Certificate, Marketing – Southern New Hampshire University 2015;  Hookset, NH

B.F.A., Art & Design (cum laude) – Frostburg State University 2005;  Frostburg, MD

B.S., Liberal Studies – Art History (cum laude) – Frostburg State University 2005;  Frostburg, MD