New Academy Board of Governors Includes Ava DuVernay, Whoopi Goldberg, and Wynn P. Thomas

For the first time, the seventeen Academy branches used preferential ballots.
Ava DuVernay arrives at the 2019 LACMA Art and Film Gala at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in Los Angeles2019 LACMA Art and Film Gala, Los Angeles, USA - 02 Nov 2019
Ava DuVernay
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Using a new preferential ballot to streamline the election process, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences added director Ava DuVernay (“A Wrinkle In Time”) and 2020 Oscars producer Lynette Howell Taylor (“A Star is Born”) to its newly elected 2020–2021 Board of Governors, increasing the number of female Academy governors from a record 25 to 26, and people of color from 11 to 12, including the three Governors-at-Large. Three newly elected or reelected governors are Black, with a total of six on the Board. The governors will take office at the first regularly scheduled board meeting of the new term.

New governors joining the Board for the first time:

Debra Zane, Casting Directors Branch
Ava DuVernay, Directors Branch
Stephen Rivkin, Film Editors Branch
Linda Flowers, Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch
Lynette Howell Taylor, Producers Branch
Rob Bredow, Visual Effects Branch

Incumbent governors reelected to the Board:

Whoopi Goldberg, Actors Branch
Mandy Walker, Cinematographers Branch
Isis Mussenden, Costume Designers Branch
Kate Amend, Documentary Branch
David Linde, Executives Branch
Christina Kounelias, Marketing and Public Relations Branch
Charles Bernstein, Music Branch
Wynn P. Thomas, Production Design Branch
Teri E. Dorman, Sound Branch
Larry Karaszewski, Writers Branch

Returning to the Board after a hiatus:

Jon Bloom, Short Films and Feature Animation 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 sets the Academy’s strategic vision, preserves the organization’s financial health, and assures the fulfillment of its mission.

Multi-hyphenate influencer DuVernay (@Ava) replaces Kimberly Peirce representing the Directors Branch, also beating out Reginald Hudlin, Kasi Lemmons, Bret Ratner, Jason Reitman and Michael Mann; Rob Bredow takes over from Richard Edlund representing the Visual Effects branch. And Howell Taylor did better than rival producers Jason Blum and vocal Academy critic Michael Shamberg (incumbent Albert Berger chose not to run for reelection).

Returning incumbent Whoopi Goldberg scored more top votes than fellow actors Colman Domingo, Richard Dreyfuss, Joe Pantoliano, Lou Diamond Phillips and Rita Wilson. Participant Media CEO David Linde collected more approval than the executive branch’s Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, as well as ex-studio chiefs Mark Canton and Mike Medavoy. Returning incumbent Mandy Walker pulled more support than cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. And returning incumbent Larry Karaszewski, who oversees the International Features category with Diane Weyermann, nabbed more love from the writers than Gregory Nava, John Ridley and Howard Rodman.

Here’s the full list of the current 2019-2020 Academy governors.

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