The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles, or BAFTA LA, has named veteran television executive Chantal Rickards the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer, effective Apr. 14.
The announcement was made on Thursday by BAFTA LA, which aims to “serve as a bridge between the Hollywood and British production and entertainment business communities.” Founded in 1987, BAFTA LA produces the annual Britannia Awards as well as offering screenings, seminars and other programs designed to help British talent working in the U.S. entertainment industry.
“I’m delighted to be joining the BAFTA LA team at a time when British film and television currency couldn’t be higher,” said Rickards in a statement. “We are expanding our services to further promote British talent across the West Coast and will be working closely with our colleagues in London and New York on a global level.”
Rickards has spent most of the last three decades working in television in the UK. She spent time as a commissioning executive at the BBC, and recently has served as the head of programming and branded content at MEC, a division of the media investment company Group M. To assume her new position at BAFTA LA, Rickards will move from London to Los Angeles.
Rickards will assume the newly-created CEO position just prior to the May retirement of Donald Haber, the executive director and COO of the organization, who is leaving BAFTA LA after 18 years of service. She will report to the BAFTA LA board of directors.