Communication Leader Award

The Communication Leader Award recognizes a Communication Leadership alumni who embodies the program’s four core values: Creativity, Leadership, Story, and Community, and has made a significant contribution to our field in a unique, emergent way. The recipient of this award is an active member of the Comm Lead community, who is fearlessly tackling challenges through creative stories that spark change — be it civically, professionally, or within our graduate program itself (and ideally all three)! This person demonstrates vision and leadership on a daily basis while sustaining a relationship with the Communication Leadership program.


Paolo Mottola (M.C., 2010)

Paolo Mottola is the director of content and media at REI Co-op, an outdoor retailer, and the largest consumer co-operative in the United States with 17 million members. He oversees REI’s content programs, including a digital publication, online education, films, podcasts, and the new Uncommon Path print magazine. He studied journalism at Western Washington University and has a Master of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington.




Adriana Gil Miner (M.C., 2009)

Adriana Gil Miner heads up the global Corporate Communications department at Tableau Software. In this role she is responsible for cultivating relationships with industry experts, media, academia and NGOs to advance the mission of Tableau of helping people see and understand their data.

With over 18 years of technology marketing experience, Gil Miner brings together the art of storytelling, technology, and marketing to create breakthrough campaigns that build up brands. Gil Miner thrives on bringing new technologies to market and has worked on an array of projects, from launching Samsung 3D TVs, to building digital platforms at American Express, to managing a top company growth program called Recurring Payments; and as CMO of Artefact, helped to put the product innovation firm on the map and launch their first spinoff company, 10,000ft.

Adriana Gil Miner studied Mass Communication in her native home country of Venezuela and obtained a Master’s degree in Digital Communication at the University of Washington. She loves to travel and prides herself on discovering and nurturing up-and-coming marketer rock stars.


Andrea Zeller (M.C., 2007)

Andrea Zeller crafts Virtual Reality and 360 experiences at Facebook. She earned her undergraduate degree in Film & TV from NYU in 2000, which led her to produce and edit documentary videos specializing in healthcare and international non-profits. Andrea then earned her M.C. from the UW Communication Leadership program in 2007, and led content strategy for Expedia’s hotels and activities businesses. Her first career as a filmmaker allowed her to think about perception and participation in experiences, which led to early thinking about writing beyond the screen at the University of Washington. When not thinking about virtual reality, you can find her in the reality of the East Bay, hiking and biking with her two kids and husband, Pete.

NikaCommunication Leader Award