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Film Academy’s Board of Governors Election Sets New Record for Women on Board

For the first time ever, there are more women than men on the 54-person board


Actress Rita Wilson, documentary editor Jean Tsien and composer Lesley Barber are among the 11 women elected to the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, AMPAS announced on Monday.

The election pushed the number of women on the 54-member board to 31, a new record that is five more than the old high of 26. For the first time ever, the Academy board now contains more women than men.

The election also raised the number of governors from underrepresented racial/ethnic communities from 12 to 15, another new high.

A dozen film professionals were elected to the board for the first time, making this only the second time in recent years in which the members elected more first-time governors than re-elected incumbents. It also happened in 2017.

A large part of the reason for the high changeover rate is that the Academy changed its rules last June to limit a governor to two consecutive three-year terms before he or she must take a hiatus from the board; until then, the limit had been three consecutive terms. The change meant that a number of incumbent governors were ineligible to run for re-election. Those included Michael Giacchino from the Music Branch, Rory Kennedy from the Documentary Branch and Daryn Okada from the Cinematographers Branch.

In addition to Wilson, Tsien and Barber, this year’s first-time governors are Kim Taylor-Coleman, Casting Directors Branch; Paul Cameron, Cinematographers Branch; Eduardo Castro, Costume Designers Branch; Pam Abdy, Executives Branch; Terilyn A. Shropshire, Film Editors Branch; Laura C. Kim, Marketing and Public Relations Branch; Gary C. Bourgeois, Sound Branch; Brooke Breton, Visual Effects Branch; and Howard A. Rodman, Writers Branch.

Four incumbent governors won re-election. They were Susanne Bier, Directors Branch; Jennifer Todd, Producers Branch; Tom Duffield, Production Designers Branch; and Bonnie Arnold, Short Films and Feature Animation Branch. Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch governor Bill Corso was returned to the board after a hiatus.

The Academy’s 17 branches are represented by three governors each. The governors serve three-year terms, with a branch’s governors serving staggered terms so that one seat from each branch is up for election every year.