The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has elected German journalist Helen Hoehne as its new president, the latest step in the org’s move to reform following controversies surrounding its operations. Hoehne, who previously served as vice president, will lead the HFPA’s recently announced expanded Board of Directors.

HFPA members voted for Hoehne as its new president directly from the new Board membership, revealed last week. The group of 12 members — five of whom have never served on the board — will soon be joined by three more outside non-members still to come, for a total of 15. Hoehne replaces Ali Sar, who had served as president of the HFPA since 2020, following the death of previous president Lorenzo Soria.

Hoehne is a native of Hamburg, has been a member of the HFPA since 2004. She served on the board of directors from 2012 to 2019 and was elected as VP in September 2020. Hoehne has written for various publications in Germany, including serving as U.S. Correspondent for TV Movie magazine, one of Germany’s largest biweekly television and movie magazines through the Bauer Media Group. She is also a regular contributor for German television channels RTL and ProSieben.

“It’s a privilege to lead this organization as we continue on the path of fundamental change and reform,” Hoehne said. “Since May, members have shown their commitment to creating a reimagined HFPA. We are excited for the future of our association and look forward to connecting with our colleagues in the industry – both old and new – over these next few months.”

Along with the three members of the HFPA’s credentials committee, Hoehne and the board will be responsible for overseeing the ongoing reform plan to restructure the organization along the lines of accountability, ethics, and greater inclusion of the diversity of world journalism.

According to insiders, Hoehne plans to immediately embark on conversations with studios, advocacy groups and media outlets about other ways the reformed HFPA can start making changes. Her platform as president also included ensuring transparency from the board and providing timely updates, establishing leadership training for board members and creating pathways for those who desire to run for the board and take on leadership positions.

Hoehne also plans to hold yearly membership summits to discuss new ideas and the HFPA’s vision for its future.

Hoehne is among the board and committee members who will undergo diversity, equity and inclusion and leadership training for their respective roles.

In May, the 85-member HFPA announced a timeline that would overhaul the organization, and in July, the HFPA approved the new set of bylaws that had been proposed to reform the organization, recruit more diverse and inclusive members and address the ethics and accountability issues that have long swirled around the organization.