Rita Wilson, Pam Abdy, Howard Rodman Re-Elected to Academy Board of Governors

Only five of the 17 governors elected are first-time board members

rita wilson
Rita Wilson (Getty Images)

Incumbents carried the day in elections for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors, the winners of which were announced on Monday. 11 current governors won re-election to represent the Academy’s 19 branches, with first-time governors elected largely in branches where the incumbent governors were unable to run for re-election because of term limits.

Actress Rita Wilson, cinematographer Paul Cameron, executive Pam Abdy, composer Lesley Barber and writer Howard Rodman were among the governors who were re-elected to a second three-year term representing their branches.

Most Academy branches are represented on the board by three governors, whose three-year terms are staggered so that one seat is up for election each year. The exceptions are the new Production & Technology Branch, which has a single governor; the Short Films Branch, which has one; and the Animation Branch, which has two (Those last two branches were recently created from what was formerly the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch).

Governors are allowed to serve two consecutive three-year terms before they must step away from the board for two years, with a lifetime maximum of 12 years on the board. Those term limits, which were made stricter in recent years, have created a board on which more than half the members are serving their first terms as governors.

Five new governors have been elected to the board for the first time, for the most part from branches where the incumbents could not run again. Those included Patricia Cardoso in the Directors Branch, who replaces Susanne Bier; Jennifer Fox in the Producers Branch, replacing Jennifer Todd; K.K. Barrett in the Production Design Branch, replacing Tom Duffield; Chris Tashima in the Short Films Branch, replacing Bonnie Arnold; and Andy Nelson in the Sound Branch, replacing Gary C. Bourgeois.  

Past governor Lois Burwell was elected by the Makeup Artists & Hairstylists Branch, where she had previously served as governor before having to step away  from an enforced two-year hiatus because of term limits.

The election keeps the 55-member board at its current balance of 29 women and 26 men. According to the Academy, 27% of the governors belong to “an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.”

Governors whose seats were not up for election were Wendy Aylsworth, Dion Beebe, Howard Berger, Jason Blum, Rob Bredow, Ruth E. Carter, Megan Colligan, Paul Debevec, Peter Devlin, David I. Dinerstein, Ava DuVernay, Linda Flowers, Charles Fox, DeVon Franklin, Rodrigo García, Richard Gibbs, Donna Gigliotti, Jinko Gotoh, Chris Hegedus, Richard Hicks, Lynette Howell Taylor, Kalina Ivanov, Simon Kilmurry, Ellen Kuras, Marlee Matlin, Hannah Minghella, Daniel Orlandi, Missy Parker, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jason Reitman, Nancy Richardson, Stephen Rivkin, Eric Roth, Dana Stevens, Mark P. Stoeckinger, Marlon West, Janet Yang and Debra Zane.

The new board will assume office at the first scheduled meeting of the new term, at which they will elect a president and other officers.

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