Executive Creative Director, VMLY&R

Head Judge – Concept/Copywriting

Emily Sander is an award-winning creative director with over 20 years of experience in advertising.

Currently an Executive Creative Director with VML’s New York office, she oversees work for vitaminwater, Leidos, BP and Pearson, as well as other projects, including a recent campaign called “NYC Says Gay” for the mayor’s office promoting the city’s dedication to equality.

Before VML, Emily embraced the expansive world of creative and impactful storytelling at agencies such as MullenLowe, Translation, 360i and Momentum, working across all disciplines on brands ranging from State Farm, Hyatt Hotels, McDonalds, HBO, American Express and Macy’s. In addition, she spent a valuable portion of her career in education as the chair of the Department of Advertising and Branding at the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), reframing the major’s curriculum and guiding the department to its highest enrollment.

Emily has spent years dedicated to advocating and advancing opportunities for diverse talent in the advertising industry. Serving as member of the board for the 4A’s Foundation since 2018, she has dedicated much of her time to education and mentorship for diverse students looking to advance their professional opportunities and skillsets. As part, she received the 2023 Society of Excellence Pantheon Award.

When Emily is not working, she can be found in Brooklyn reading some kind of obscenely large non-fiction book at her favorite coffee shop.


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