Academy Diversity Moving Forward With 17 Women on the Board

Academy of motion pictures Oscar Logo

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences now has 17 women on the board of governors, compared to 14 for the past year.

The org unveiled its new board members Friday morning. Elected to the board for the first time are Lois Burwell, makeup artists and hairstylists branch; Michael Giacchino, music branch; Rory Kennedy, documentary branch; and Daryn Okada, cinematographers branch.

Incumbent governors re-elected to the board include Jim Bissell, designers branch; Tom Hanks, actors branch; Kathleen Kennedy, producers branch; John Knoll, visual effects branch; Bill Kroyer, short films and feature animation branch; Michael Mann, directors branch; Scott Millan, sound branch; Deborah Nadoolman Landis, costume designers branch; and Bernard Telsey, casting directors branch.

Returning to the board after a hiatus are governors Jim Gianopulos, executives branch; Marvin Levy, public relations branch; and Carol Littleton, film editors branch.

There are 51 members on the board, with three reps from each of the Academy’s 17 branches. They all have a three-year term, but the Oscar org rotates the voting, meaning only one of the three reps is elected each year.

“I’m excited to welcome our four new governors to the Board and congratulate those who have been reelected,” said Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs.  “Our board is made up of some of the most experienced and respected professionals in our industry, and we look forward to working with them on our ongoing goals of increasing member engagement and expanding the Academy’s outreach to our global film community.”

The balloting in the Academy’s writers branch produced a tie between candidates Larry Karaszewski and Billy Ray, necessitating a second polling of that branch.  Voting for the runoff election via online and paper ballots will begin Thursday, July 16, and end Wednesday, July 22.  The Academy last held a runoff election in 2009 for the directors branch.

The Academy’s 17 branches are each represented by three governors, who may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms. The board of governors directs the Academy’s strategic vision, preserves the organization’s financial health, and assures the fulfillment of its mission.


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  1. Oh goody, 17 women now out of 51! The Academy is only a tad worse at representing women and women’s interests in film than the more heavily male dominated U.S. Congress, with a Republican majority is at representing women’s interests in most of life. No wonder women are tokens and bimbos or victims, strippers or pole dancers and sometimes all of the foregoing in most films unless they are specially made “for women,” and most books used for films are written by men, especially in the pop-action-suspense variety. I’ll believe there’s real change developing when Elizabeth Lowell’s novels _Jade Island_ and _Color of Death_ are in the works, and the producers and writers have discovered Louisa May Alcott wrote more than two novels, one of which is still incredibly timely today, _An Old Fashioned Girl_, also her _Eight Cousins_ and _Rose in Bloom_ (sequel to 8) deal with issues that would make most parents and much of modern society squirm still. I’ll believe in change when I see Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters novels like _Summer of the Dragon_, _Sea King’s Daughter_ and here’s one for Stephen Spielberg, _Devil-May-Care produced. Notice these are all best selling novels, well-known to the New York Times, etc. authors who are all WOMEN. These authors also were/are real researchers who understand relationships, perhaps too well for the likes of too much of today’s rather too simple minded, male-oriented, Hollywood.

  2. Kay says:

    A question to whomever can help me: is actress Robin Wright a member of the Academy? I couldn’t think that she’s not, with her 30 year long career, body of work and connections, but there’s no way of knowing the complete list of members. Can someone confirm if she is? Thanks!

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