The Board of Directors of Alliance of Women Directors (AWD) has named its first executive director in AnnaLea Rawicz Arnold, marking the entertainment industry community’s first staff position.
Arnold is a founding partner of advocacy organization WeForShe. Her hiring comes on the heels of a surge in AWD membership, which has doubled in size in the last two years to over 350 members. As executive director, Arnold will help craft plans for the future of the organization and its members. She will also oversee AWD’s programs, which includes partnerships with NBC, CBS, Canon and Fotokem, as well as internal programs including Career Advancement Program, In-House Shadowing, Art of Directing Program, and Fireside Chats with directors like Patty Jenkins and Dan Attias.
“We are thrilled to have AnnaLea join us during this pivotal moment for our organization and our industry as a whole,” said Jennifer Warren, Founder and Chairperson of Alliance of Women Directors. “Her deep commitment to gender equity, representation, and diversity and inclusion coupled with her vision for our strategic growth in programming, development and outreach is just what we need for the future.”
“I am honored by the opportunity to lead Alliance of Women Directors,” Arnold said. “The members have created a phenomenal hub where women directors can keep their skills fresh, build necessary relationships and enjoy the camaraderie that allows them to endure in an industry that too often tells them they are not welcome. I am looking forward to building on the current momentum to bring AWD to the next level, expand our board, partnerships, and programs and raise the profile of the incredible women directors in our membership.”
The Alliance of Women Directors was founded in 1997 by alumnae of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women. The organization is committed to increasing the number of women directing projects in the film, TV and new media space.