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Cheryl Boone Isaacs Wins Re-Election as Academy President

This will be her fourth and last one-year term as president


Cheryl Boone Isaacs has been re-elected to a fourth term as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy announced on Tuesday night.

Other officers elected by the AMPAS Board of Governors are: Jeffrey Kurland, first vice president; John Bailey, Kathleen Kennedy and Nancy Utley, vice presidents; Jim Gianopulos, treasurer; and David Rubin, secretary.

Boone Isaacs, the third woman and first African American to serve as president of the Academy, has been in office since 2013, when she succeeded single-term president Hawk Koch, who was forced off the board by AMPAS term limits.

She has presided over the Academy at a time of controversy and upheaval, serving as the face of the organization during the #OscarsSoWhite furor and the subsequent steps to make AMPAS more diverse.

A governor who is in her 24th (non-consecutive) year representing the Academy’s Public Relations Branch on the board, Boone Isaacs will not be eligible for re-election next year, because the Academy president is limited to four consecutive one-year terms.

She is one of 17 women on the 54-member board, and one of four African Americans. During most of her three previous years as president, she was the only African-American on the board.

Her election, which came at Tuesday night’s Board of Governors meeting, was almost a foregone conclusion. While some members were not happy about the way the Academy responded to the controversy that followed two years of all-white acting nominees, particularly the plan to take the vote away from inactive members, the recent board election was largely an endorsement of the status quo.

And Boone Isaacs has been in the front line of both speaking out about the issue of diversity within the Academy, and pushing the rest of the film industry to become more diverse as well.

Of the 54 governors on the board, 42 have served on boards that elected Isaacs in the past, while three were appointed by her as part of the diversity push.

Boone Isaacs served in the publicity and theatrical marketing departments of Paramount Pictures and New Line Cinema, and is currently the head of CBI Enterprises Inc. In the past, she ran publicity campaigns for Best Picture winners “Forrest Gump” and “Braveheart,” while in recent years she has consulted on such films as “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech” and “Precious.” She stopped working on Oscar campaigns after being elected president.

Isaacs is the 33rd person to serve as Academy president. The only other women were Bette Davis, who resigned after only two months on the job in 1941, and screenwriter Fay Kanin, who served four terms in the early 1980s.

Of the other officers elected on Tuesday, Kurland, Bailey, Kennedy and Gianopulos are returning to posts they held last year, while Utley and Rubin are new officers.

The Academy also singled out the committees that each of the officers would head. Kurland will serve as chair of the Awards and Events Committee, Baily the Preservation and History Committee, Kennedy the Museum Committee, Utley the Education and Outreach Committee, Gianopulos the Finance Committee and Rubin the Membership and Administration Committee.

Douglas Fairbanks was the first president, in 1927. Since then, the job has been occupied by Frank Capra, Jean Hersholt, George Stevens, Gregory Peck, Walter Mirish, Karl Malden, Robert Rehme, Arthur Hiller, Sid Ganis, Frank Pierson, Tom Sherak, Howard W. Koch and his son Hawk Koch, among others.

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