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The Academy Board of Governors Is Getting More Female

New members include Whoopi Goldberg and Kimberly Peirce, and it's the board that calls the Academy shots.

Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg

Graham Winfrey

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has picked its newly elected 2017–18 Board of Governors. Like the new 774 members invited to join the Academy this week, they are an eclectic and diverse group — and now, 38% of the board is female. Among them: Former Academy public relations executive Christina Kounelias, now at Participant Media, joins her boss David Linde on the board.

READ MORE: The Film Academy Invited a Bunch of TV Stars to Vote for the Oscars, But They Won’t Admit It

Those elected to the Board for the first time are:

Whoopi Goldberg, Actors Branch
Mandy Walker, Cinematographers Branch
Isis Mussenden, Costume Designers Branch
Wynn P. Thomas, Designers Branch
Kimberly Peirce, Directors Branch
David Linde, Executives Branch
Christina Kounelias, Public Relations Branch
Thomas R. Sito, Short Films and Feature Animation Branch
Teri E. Dorman, Sound Branch
Larry Karaszewski, Writers Branch

Incumbent governors reelected to the Board include:

Lora Kennedy, Casting Directors Branch
Kate Amend, Documentary Branch
Michael Tronick, Film Editors Branch
Kathryn L. Blondell, Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch
Charles Bernstein, Music Branch
Albert Berger, Producers Branch

READ MORE: 25 New Academy Members Who Could Shake Up the Oscars, From Barry Jenkins to Gal Gadot

Returning to the Board after a hiatus is:

Richard Edlund, Visual Effects Branch

They beat out a number of would-be governors including Rob Friedman, Dick Cook, Ed Catmull, and Oscar show co-producer Michael De Luca.

Not trying for a seat was Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the current AMPAS president who’s stepping down this August and won’t seek a third three-year term on the 54-member board. (You have to be on the board in order to run for president.) Actress Laura Dern is one current board member who is backed by Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and gaining support.

READ MORE: Barry Jenkins and Jordan Peele Among the 774 Invited to Join the Academy As It Pushes for Inclusion

The Academy’s 17 branches are each represented by three governors, who are welcome to serve up to three consecutive three-year terms. The Board of Governors is charged with setting the the Academy’s strategy and rules going forward, looking after its financial well-being, and staying on track with the Oscars and its other film missions.

For a full list of Academy governors, click here.

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