Senior Management

John De Margheriti

Chairman and CEO

John De Margheriti | Academy of Interactive EntertainmentJohn is a true entrepreneur, visionary and one of the most motivated and passionate people in the Australian game development industry. After co-founding Micro Forté Pty Ltd in 1985 (a veteran Australian game development studio), John set out to establish a training institution that would specialise in supplying industry ready artists, programmers and developers for the creative digital industries.

John did this by establishing the Academy of Interactive Entertainment as a not for profit educator in 1996. The campus was strategically co-sited with Micro Forté Pty Ltd and has been producing top quality, industry ready graduates ever since!

Today, AIE has five campuses in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Seattle, Lafayette and Online. The AIE has gained much recognition as a leading educator for game development and 3D animation.

Johns is also the founder and Chairman of Canberra Technology Park (CTP), the Australian Game Developers Conference(AGDC), and BigWorld Pty Ltd (a Massively Multiplayer Online game middleware company).

John also founded the Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA) at the inaugural AGDC in 1999, and acted as one of its main financial backers and treasurer until late 2005 when he resigned from the board to focus his energies on expanding BigWorld Pty Ltd. In December 2005, John also announced the closing of AGDC, Australia’s most successful and well known Game Developers Conference to provide the GDAA an opportunity to run an industry conference.

Vicki De Margheriti


Vicki De Margheriti | Academy of Interactive EntertainmentVicki has over 25 years experience managing companies and facilitating business and industry growth in the games development, 3D animation and visual FX industries. She is the CEO of the Academy of Interactive Entertainment Ltd (AIE) and has been involved in the operations and strategic planning of all of its business units, including Canberra Technology Park (CTP), as a Director and Co-founder since its inception.

Vicki is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been a Director on the board of games studio Micro Forté Pty Ltd and middleware developer BigWorld Pty Ltd. Vicki believes in equipping people with the skills, knowledge and confidence to follow their dreams. She thrives on providing a fun, creative and motivating work environment that is conducive to learning and allowing staff and students to achieve their full potential.

Vicki has seen the AIE grow from a single classroom in partnership with CIT in 1996, to an international success with campuses in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Seattle, Lafayette and Online. She looks forward to managing AIE’s future expansion plans and its ongoing contributions to facilitate industry growth in Australia and abroad.

James Cardo

Head of School – Seattle

Head of School AIE Seattle | James CardoOnce upon a time, James wanted desperately to be a medieval knight. He was also attracted to being a firefighter, a spaceship captain, a cavalry scout, a rogue ninja, a pro soccer player, a military sniper, and a prize fighter.

Instead of any of those, James took a more heroic path. He became a teacher.

James joined the AIE team in April 2016 after more than twenty years in education. Trained as an English teacher at schools including The Citadel (a military college whose cadets fired the opening shots of the Civil War), the University of North Carolina (our nation's oldest public university, founded in 1789), the University of Glasgow, Scotland (a truly medieval university, founded in 1451), and Wake Forest University (where he studied as a Master Teachers Fellow). All of that education led James to the classroom, where he taught students from the early elementary grades through to the college level.

Those years of teaching gave James a particular insight about how schools should be run---primarily that they are a partnership between teachers and students, who learn from each other as they explore the topics at hand. He became more involved in educational administration and led a private secondary school for five years. James has a thirst to see AIE take its place as the premier gaming college in the nation, with a masterful teaching faculty to match.

James loves the opportunities that AIE affords its students, especially in channeling their boundless creative energy into practical lessons that will allow them to work in their chosen field. And also, because he knows that if he's going to be a knight, and ninja, or any of his childhood dreams, it's going to be in a video game, and he wants to keep playing them for some time to come!

Robin L. Couvillon

Head of School – Lafayette

Robin Couvillon | AIE Head of School Lafayette CampusRobin Couvillon, joined AIE in 2014 after 3 years of leading a Cultural Activities Center in Temple, Texas.

Robin has extensive expertise in education and project management. He has spent over twenty-five years in teaching and administration of higher education, secondary and elementary schools. Prior to education, Robin worked in business as a project manager for engineering companies and a project administration for fabrication and construction companies.

Robin is a St. Bernard Parish native. He attended Southeastern Louisiana University and received a BA in Urban Planning with a minor in computer programming.

Robin is passionate about creativity and about the educational opportunities AIE has to offer in preparing students for exciting careers in the video gaming industry and the world of movie making. As a lifelong learning and educator, Robin knows the importance of allowing students the opportunity to learn the skills to develop their own creativity and to grow their knowledge in their chosen path in the fields of video gaming and movie industries.

Joel Younker

Controller, US Operations

AIE Controller, US Operations | Joel YounkerJoel has been with AIE since February 2011. He has been instrumental in directing AIE from a startup to a fully accredited post-secondary institution in both Seattle, Washington and Lafayette, Louisiana. Joel, along with the AIE team, navigated the complex process of building a student centric, viable educational institution catering to those interested in a meaningful career in the video game industry.

Joel believes in the Servant-Leader philosophy, leading by example, and prides himself in providing exceptional customer service to internal and external stakeholders.

In his free time, Joel enjoys investing time with his family and friends, developing new skills, and riding his motorcycle.