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Hawk Koch Elected Academy’s 1st 2nd-Generation President

Producer Hawk Koch follows in his father Howard Koch's footsteps, is elected president of the Motion Picture Academy


Hawk Koch has been elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy's Board of Governors announced on Tuesday night.

The election makes producer Koch the first second-generation president in the 85-year history of the Academy. His father, Howard W. Koch, served as AMPAS president from 1977 to 1979.

Charley Gallay/Getty ImagesHe is certainly the first Academy president to have gotten his start as a rock 'n' roll road manager, a position he handled in the 1960s for bands like the Supremes and the Dave Clark Five.

Also read: New AMPAS President Hawk Koch Exits as PGA Co-President

He has worked as assistant director on such films as "The Way We Were," "Chinatown" and "Heaven Can Wait," and as producer for "The Pope of Greenwich Village," "Wayne's World," "Collateral Damage" and "Source Code," among others.

Koch, 66, will be a rare AMPAS president who can only serve a single term before leaving office. Presidents are elected for one-year terms and can serve four consecutive terms as long as they remain on the board – but board members can only serve nine consecutive years, and Koch is now beginning his ninth straight year as a governor.

After relinquishing the job for a year, he will be allowed to return to the board and to the presidency, although sitting presidents are rarely challenged at the Academy.

Koch currently also serves as co-president of the Producers Guild of America with Mark Gordon. He has not announced publicly if he will keep both jobs simultaneously or resign from the PGA; some governors have speculated that he will have to do the latter.

Koch, who used Howard W. Koch Jr. in his screen credits until the late 1990s, was the favorite in the low-key AMPAS presidential contest, and by far the most active campaigner.

Also read: Tom Sherak's Exit Interview: 'We're Not a Ma-and-Pa Organization Anymore'

The unpaid office of president was vacated when Tom Sherak was himself termed off the board. Koch won the election that took place at a special board meeting on Tuesday night; the job went to the first candidate to receive more than 50 percent of the vote from the Academy's 42 governors.

(A 43rd spot on the board has yet to be filled following the recent death of Writers Branch governor Frank Pierson.) 

Two of the other leading candidates for the presidency were elected to office as well. Public relations executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected first vice-president, the job Koch held last year, while Summit co-chair Rob Friedman was elected treasurer.

Other elected officers are producer Kathleen Kennedy and writer-director Phil Robinson, who were chosen to the two vice presidential offices, and former AMPAS president Robert Rehme, who was elected secretary.

Koch becomes the 32nd different person to serve as Academy president. Douglas Fairbanks was the first president, in 1927; since then, the job has been occupied by Frank Capra, Bette Davis (for only two months), Jean Hersholt, George Stevens, Gregory Peck, Walter Mirisch, Fay Kanin, Karl Malden, Rehme, Arthur Hiller, Pierson, Ganis, Sherak and Koch's father.