A Product Design instructor demonstrates a project to 6 students
The veteran consumer products executive takes an expanded role at the school to lead both Toy and Product Design programs.
Mitch Marr

Headshot of Jennifer Caveza, Chair of Product Design and Toy Design

Otis College of Art and Design is pleased to announce that Jennifer Caveza has been appointed Chair of its Product Design department beginning with the 2023-2024 academic year. Caveza is currently Chair of the College’s Toy Design department, which has enjoyed tremendous growth under her leadership. She will now oversee both programs. Caveza succeeds founding Product Design chair Steve McAdam, who held the position for two decades.

“I am thrilled to see Jennifer in this expanded role at Otis College, as she has demonstrated incredible leadership in promoting strong faculty, designing innovative curriculum, fostering a supportive community for students, and developing outstanding extracurricular programs,” says Jiseon Lee Isbara, Provost of Otis College.

Caveza previously served as Assistant Chair of the Toy Design program at Otis from 2001 to 2006. Prior to returning as department Chair, she was Senior Vice President of Licensing at ViacomCBS where she oversaw licensing deals and identified new business opportunities for the entertainment company’s top global franchises. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment.

Throughout her career, Caveza has managed world-renowned brands and held executive management roles at leading global companies, including Mattel, JAKKS Pacific, and Grey Advertising. Essential to her roles has been marketing, design, manufacturing and working with content creators to ensure their stories are translated to successful consumer products. Caveza plans to leverage this experience to empower emerging artists and designers to reach their full potential, and to make meaningful connections between students, alumni, and industry.

“Product design plays a vital role in shaping our everyday lives,” says Caveza. “Our students impact a multitude of industries and influence how we experience the world and connect with each other. I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to support the next generation of product designers in achieving their professional goals and realizing their creative visions.”

Faculty member Jonathan Fidler, who has served as Assistant Chair of Product Design since 2022, continues in that leadership role. Both have been working closely with department faculty to reframe the curriculum and shape the future of the department.

The Product Design and Toy Design programs will maintain independent curricula, though Caveza hopes to strengthen connections between the communities. “There are product designers who become toy designers, and vice versa,” she says. “The two fields are quite synergistic and our programs have a lot to offer one another. I’m excited to apply my experience in both toward the success of our talented students, alumni, and partners.”