Judges Spotlight December 1, 2022

Zahra Jabini – Senior Vice President Of Engineering, BDG

As the Senior Vice President Of Engineering at BDG (formerly Bustle Digital Group), Zahra Jabini brings her expertise to a broad range of responsibilities from supporting brand relaunches to managing the entire engineering team. Zahra is also a newly appointed Webby judge, and will be reviewing this year's Webby entries! We sat down together to discuss her thoughts on the future of tech and what she is excited to see this season.

For those who don’t know, tell us a little about your background.

I’m a Persian American Software Engineer based in New York City. My educational background is in Architecture and Civil Engineering. I’ve spent my entire life building experiences for myself and others in a multitude of mediums.

At BDG, formerly known as Bustle Digital Group, I manage the engineering team, and I’m responsible for supporting our brand’s relaunches (such as Bustle, NYLON, Inverse, Scary Mommy, and many others in our portfolio) and scaling products as the company continues to grow.

What particular expertise are you bringing to the Academy?

I build and work with people who create products all day long, so I understand the behind-the-scenes work that goes from ideation to delivering the final product to the end user. I’ve dealt with the “expectations v. reality” of software. I bring empathy with my expertise in building software and living online.

What are you most looking forward to about reviewing this year’s Webby Awards entries?

I’m obsessed with novelty. I love nothing more than innovation mixed with pure creativity in the work people choose to put out there. There’s always a moment when you come across something so clever and well thought out that you think, “I wish I’d built that, “… that it becomes inspirational.

I’m looking forward to being inspired.

What creative work on the Internet has recently inspired you, and why? (It can be a campaign, experience, film, social series, etc.)

The song and music video called “Baraye” by Shervin Hajipour, who wrote every verse of the song based on tweets where people explained their reasons for fighting for women and human rights. It so beautifully resonated with people worldwide that it’s been shared, remixed, and translated countless times. It’s become background music in videos of artists, celebrities, athletes, and so much more. It took on a life of its own, and it was unexpected but incredibly beautiful and inspirational to watch.

What emerging technology or trend do you think will have the greatest impact on the creative industry?

AI! There are all these new AI systems that can create hyper-realistic images and incredibly gorgeous art from a description in natural language, and the results are INCREDIBLE. I think we’ll see more things done with these systems and the possibilities are not only endless, but also very exciting.


One of the benefits of entering the Webby Awards is getting to have your work seen by industry experts like Zahra. To give your work the exposure it deserves, make sure to enter the 27th Annual Webby Awards! 
Click here to learn more about our categories and how to enter.