The Academy Selects Gender Parity With Its Newest Governors

Of the six newly elected governors, four are women including “Black Panther” costume designer Ruth Carter.
Laura Dern in a still from Twin Peaks. Photo: Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME
"Twin Peaks: The Return"
Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has elected its 2019-20 Board of Governors. And it’s more diverse than ever before. These are the folks, for better or worse, who steer the Academy ship. When they assume their posts July 1, the number of women Academy governors will increase from 22 to 24, and people of color will grow from 10 to 11, including the already announced three new Governors-at-Large: DeVon Franklin, Rodrigo Garcia, and Janet Yang.

Among the 54 governors — three for each of 17 branches, serving three years — voluntarily leaving their board seats are Sharen Davis, Leonard Engelman, and Daniel Fellman, while terming out are president John Bailey, Robin Swicord, and John Bloom.

Ruth E. Carter - Costume Design - 'Black Panther'91st Annual Academy Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA - 24 Feb 2019
Ruth E. Carter – Costume Design – ‘Black Panther’ 91st Annual Academy AwardsAndrew H. Walker/BEI/REX/Shutterstock

Among the finalists vying for board slots, actress Laura Dern beat out Tim Matheson and Rita Wilson, writer Eric Roth outpaced John Ridley, director Steven Spielberg overcame rivals Reginald Hudlin and Michael Mann, Oscar producer Donna Gigliotti outranked Sony executives Tom Rothman and Michael Barker, veteran producer Mark Johnson returned over challenger Jason Blum and Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter prevailed over Judianna Makovsky.

New to the Board:
Ellen Kuras, Cinematographers Branch
Ruth Elaine Carter, Costume Designers Branch
Donna Gigliotti, Executives Branch
Howard Berger, Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch
Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Short Films and Feature Animation Branch
Eric Roth, Writers Branch

Of 11 incumbents seeking reelection, 10 will return.
Laura Dern, Actors Branch
David Rubin, Casting Directors Branch
Steven Spielberg, Directors Branch
Roger Ross Williams, Documentary Branch
Nancy Utley, Marketing and Public Relations Branch
Laura Karpman, Music Branch
Mark Johnson, Producers Branch
Jan Pascale, Production Design Branch
Kevin Collier, Sound Branch
Craig Barron, Visual Effects Branch

Because the Film Editors Branch vote yielded a tie between Dody Dorn and incumbent Mark Goldblatt, voting for a runoff election will begin Monday, June 17, and end Tuesday, June 18.

The full list of the 2018-2019 Academy governors is here.

The Governors will meet on June 29 to pick this year’s crop of new members, whom the Academy will likely announce on July 1.

On August 6, the new Academy Board will vote on new officers, including the replacement for Bailey as president, whose three-year term is timing out. While many governors are trying to find someone with more media savvy, Nancy Utley of Fox Searchlight has a demanding full-time job. Popular former president Sid Ganis’ name keeps coming up, as well as two governors who vied for the presidency with Bailey last time around, casting director and board secretary David Rubin, and First VP, makeup and hairstylist governor Lois Burwell.

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