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DGA Elects First African American President: TV Director Paris Barclay

DGA Elects First African American President: TV Director Paris Barclay

As television becomes more prominent and significant in the entertainment world, so the new head of the DGA comes from that medium. TV producer and director Paris Barclay (“Sons of Anarchy,” “In Treatment”) was elected President of the Directors Guild of America at the Guild’s National Biennial Convention on Saturday at the DGA national headquarters in Los Angeles. Replacing outgoing President Taylor Hackford, Barclay is the first African American to head the DGA. Steven Soderbergh, in seconding past-president Michael Apted’s nomination stated, “This is a great moment for our Guild; Paris will be a phenomenal leader as we move into the future.”

147 delegates representing more than 15,000 members of the DGA also elected a new slate of officers and members of the National Board of Directors.

Barclay told the assembled delegates after the vote:

“I am profoundly honored to be elected President of the DGA. The DGA has worked for more than three-quarters of a century to advance the creative and economic rights of directors and their teams and I look forward to continuing this strong tradition of service.  As the son of a glass blower and a tile maker from Chicago, I am extremely humbled to have the honor to serve in the footsteps of the legendary leaders of the DGA like Frank Capra, Robert Wise and Gil Cates.”

When Apted placed Barclay’s name in nomination, he said: “Paris’ qualifications for DGA president are exceptional. His understanding of the issues facing directors and their teams is outstanding and his ability to resolve problems and create solutions is beyond compare.”  

Barclay most recently served four terms on the National Board as First Vice-President, beginning in 2005 and as Third Vice-President from 1999 to 2005.  Barclay joined the Guild in 1992 and the next year became a member of the African American Steering Committee in 1993, which he chaired from 2000-2002. He joined the Western Directors Council in 1997 as an alternate and was elected a full Council member in 1999 and has served on the Council for 16 years.  In 2007, the Guild presented Barclay with the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for extraordinary service to the DGA. 

Barclay has also co-chaired the Guild’s Diversity Committee since 2004, served on the Single-Camera Creative Rights Negotiating Committee since 1996, and created and coordinated the Single Camera Directors Prep Program in 2001.  As current chair of the DGA Political Action Committee, Barclay has worked to represent the guild in Washington, DC. 

Barclay has directed over 130 episodes of television, including: “Glee,” “Smash,” “House,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “The Good Wife,” “CSI,” “Lost,” “The Shield,” “The West Wing,” and “ER.”  In addition to episodic directing, Barclay has been an active director-producer for such shows as “Sons of Anarchy,” “In Treatment,” “Cold Case,” “City of Angels” and “NYPD Blue.”   

He also directed the HBO movie for television “The Cherokee Kid” and the Miramax feature “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.”  

The DGA has given Barclay 10 Award nominations for Outstanding Direction in Comedy and Drama Television.  He became the first Director in the history of the Guild to receive a comedy and a drama nomination in the same year, two years in a row (2008 “In Treatment” and “Weeds” and 2009 “In Treatment” and “Glee”). He won the 1998 DGA Dramatic Series Award for his “NYPD Blue” episode “Heart and Souls” featuring the death of Jimmy Smits’ character Bobby Simone. He also won two Emmy Awards for his direction of “NYPD Blue” and received four additional Emmy nominations for producing and directing. 

Barclay has also received three NAACP Image Awards, four Peabody Awards and two Humanitas Prizes. He began his career in advertising working as a creative executive and segued into directing commercials and music videos for such artists as Janet Jackson, Bob Dylan, and LL Cool J. Barclay, a Harvard graduate, has two sons. He is married to Christopher Barclay.

Officers elected to serve alongside Barclay include Vincent Misiano, National Vice President, and returning Michael Apted, Secretary-Treasurer.

Also elected were First Vice-President Betty Thomas; Second Vice-President Gary Donatelli; Third Vice-President Thomas Schlamme; Fourth Vice-President Jace Alexander; Fifth Vice-President Jon Favreau; Sixth Vice-President John LiBretto; and Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Scott Berger. 

Complete List of 2013-2015 DGA Officers and National Board Members is below:


Paris Barclay

National Vice-President

Vincent Misiano


Michael Apted

Assistant Secretary-Treasurer

Scott Berger

First Vice-President

Betty Thomas

Second Vice-President

Gary Donatelli

Third Vice-President

Thomas Schlamme

Fourth Vice-President

Jace Alexander

Fifth Vice-President

Jon Favreau

Sixth Vice-President

John LiBretto

Board Members

Lesli Linka Glatter

Taylor Hackford

Brooke Kennedy

Cleve Landsberg

Mimi Leder

Don Mischer

Donald Petrie

Scott L. Rindenow

Liz Ryan

Steven Spielberg

Mary Rae Thewlis

Alternate Board Members

Jon Avnet

Laura Belsey

Karen Gaviola

Todd Holland

Randal Kleiser

Michael Mann

Jonathan Mostow

Matthew Penn

Rosemary Rodriguez

Millicent Shelton

Jesus Trevino

Michael Zinberg

Associate Board Members

Alan Curtiss

Duncan Henderson

Dennis W. Mazzocco

Kathleen McGill

Barbara Roche

Second Alternates

Lee Blaine

Timothy G. Engle

Julie Gelfand

Louis J. Guerra

Jennie O’Keefe

Bill Miller

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Anne Thompson

I wasn't sure about that, are you positive?

Alonso Duralde

It's worth noting that he's also the first openly gay DGA president.

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