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Brian Leonard, IDSA

Leaders Council Member; VP of Experience Design, Lenovo


Brian Leonard is vice president of Design for Lenovo’s Personal Computing & Smart Devices business group. He leads the global design team responsible for all consumer, commercial and SMB personal computers and smart device offerings, including the legendary ThinkPad, multimode Yoga, IdeaPad and Lenovo Legion gaming product lines. He is a veteran award-winning industrial designer with numerous patents, publications and museum exhibitions under his belt.

Prior to this role, Brian was executive director of Lenovo’s Laptop Design. He first started his tenure at Lenovo with IBM. Raised in an IBM family, Brian has been influenced by computers for as long as he can remember.  As an IBM intern he fell in love with the concept for what would become the first ThinkPad. Brian later became an IBM industrial designer, where he drove the design for servers, desktops, and peripherals—influencing everything from large enterprise computing to the smallest mice

Brian also spent 10 years at Dell where he successfully led design teams for XPS laptops, Alienware gaming and Latitude laptops. He then led the Next Gen design team for three years focused on design strategy across all personal computing products.

Brian holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Industrial Design from North Carolina State University. During his graduate education Brian taught undergraduate studies in Ideation I & II, beginning his journey as a future design educator. During his tenure at IBM, Brian taught classes focused on developing concepts into reality using Pro/Engineer software. Brian’s love for design and developing designers and the culture of design continues today as he leads a 100+ global design team developing amazing design experiences.

Motivation for joining Leaders Council

My education at NCSU is my foundation for my career and it is important as a design leader to give back to the school and help grow the design community at NCSU College of Design. I feel a heartfelt desire to give back to the community that gave me the ability to see, think, create and believe in possibilities. As the NCSU college of design community, we have a responsibility to ensure the success of the college and the talent it nurtures, grows and develops. I spend time guest lecturing, participating in reviews, meeting with students and recruiting future design leaders from the NCSU. I will always continue to be involved with the students, but I would like to expand my sphere of influence by joining the Leaders Council to advocate, promote and elevate the impact that the college, alumni and students have on people and the world.