Women Shaping Nissan’s Future


For the past 40 years, women at Nissan Design America (NDA) in San Diego have been part of making Nissan and INFINITI history, giving shape and color to the future of the brands in North America and the world. Here’s a salute to all the women on the creative front of the global Nissan Design organization, and everywhere else in the world.

Moira Hill

Moira Hill is lead color and material designer at NDA. A 22-year veteran at Nissan, Moira’s quiet passion for beautiful colors and materials is clearly apparent in many of the Nissan and INFINITI vehicles and concepts she helped bring to reality: INFINITI QX60 Monograph, Nissan Murano and the new Pathfinder, just to name a few.

“There are so many aspects of the job, so much access to technology – like 3D visualization software – and new ideas at NDA that I haven’t felt boredom since I got here,” said Hill. “Exhausted maybe, but not bored.”

Michelle Christensen

Michelle Christensen is senior design manager at NDA. Most recently, she managed the final design execution and model fabrication of the INFINITI QX60 Monograph.

Christensen grew up as a fine art student who loved to follow dad around the garage and tinker on muscle cars and hot rods. The minute she found out car design was a career option, she jumped on it.

“It was the total package of all the things I was passionate about,” said Christensen.

Masami Sato

Masami Sato is a digital designer at NDA. Her most recent contributions include the new Nissan 2022 Frontier, 2020 Sentra and 2019 IMs Concept. Her artistry extends to cooking, too.

Sato is legendary when it comes to blocking in shapes quickly and beautifully, bringing designers’ sketches to life. Expressing her thoughts and feeling in shapes is what she enjoys most about her job as a digital designer.

“Making shapes is fun,” said Sato.

A native of Japan, she grew up playing with her brother’s toy cars and thought of becoming a car designer at age five.

Cathy Huang

Cathy Huang joined Nissan in 2020 as an interior designer at NDA. She has been actively contributing to the ongoing design development of future Nissan and INFINITI products, but we cannot show any of her current work because it is still highly confidential!

Art and science blend seamlessly in Huang’s world. Trained to be an aerospace mechanical engineer first and then a designer, Huang loves design as a sophisticated process of combing aesthetics and problem solving – especially for cars – as one of the most complicated industrial products.

One of the newest members of NDA, Huang says that the most enjoyable moments as a designer is to get inspired by the rest of the team, create something that has never been seen before, and reach the final results that represent all the thinking and efforts.


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ABOUT Nissan Motor Corporation®

Nissan first came to the United States to sell vehicles in 1958 and began importing and making Datsun vehicles in the United States under the Nissan Motor Corporation in U.S.A. (NMC), name in 1960. In 1990, Nissan North America Inc. (NNA), was created to coordinate all of Nissan’s various activities in North America to enhance the design, development, manufacturing, and marketing of Nissan vehicles. In 1998, the two organizations merged operations under the Nissan North America, Inc., name. Headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, Nissan’s North American operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing for the United States, Canada, and Mexico.