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Whoopi Goldberg, Larry Karaszewski Elected to Academy’s Board of Governors

Other first-time governors include director Kimberly Peirce, cinematographer Mandy Walker and executive David Linde


Actress/host Whoopi Goldberg, writer Larry Karaszewski and director Kimberly Peirce have been elected to the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy announced on Thursday.

They are among the 10 members elected to the board for the first time. An additional six incumbents retained their seats, while Visual Effects Branch governor Richard Edlund was returned to the board after a hiatus.

Goldberg beat Geena Davis, Edward James Olmos and Rita Wilson for a seat vacated by Annette Bening from the Academy’s Actors Branch.

Peirce beat John Badham, Kasi Lemmons and Donald M. Petrie for a seat from the directors branch, while Karaszewski beat Aline Brosh McKenna, John Ridley and Dana Stevens to represent the Writers Branch. Previously, Karaszewski had run for a seat and lost in a runoff with Billy Ray.

Along with the 12 women whose seats were not up for re-election, the nine women elected to office give the board a record 21 women, or nearly 40 percent of its 54 members.

Nine incumbents were running for re-election, a smaller than usual number, and six won their races. They included Kate Amend from the Documentary Branch, Charles Bernstein from the Music Branch and Albert Berger from the Producers Branch.

To retain his seat, Berger defeated Jason Blum, Oscar show producer Michael De Luca and former Academy president Hawk Koch, who would have been expected to contend for that job once again if he had gotten back on the board.

Current Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs opted not to run again and was replaced on the board by new Public Relations Branch governor Christina Kounelias, whose PR jobs include a short stint at the Academy.

The new board will meet for the first time in early August, and its first order of business will be to choose a successor to Boone Isaacs from among its members.

The AMPAS press release:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced its newly elected 2017-18 Board of Governors.

Those elected to the Board for the first time are:

Whoopi Goldberg, Actors Branch
Mandy Walker, Cinematographers Branch
Isis Mussenden, Costume Designers Branch
Wynn P. Thomas, Designers Branch
Kimberly Peirce, Directors Branch
David Linde, Executives Branch
Christina Kounelias, Public Relations Branch
Thomas R. Sito, Short Films and Feature Animation Branch
Teri E. Dorman, Sound Branch
Larry Karaszewski, Writers Branch

Incumbent governors reelected to the Board include:

Lora Kennedy, Casting Directors Branch
Kate Amend, Documentary Branch
Michael Tronick, Film Editors Branch
Kathryn L. Blondell, Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch
Charles Bernstein, Music Branch
Albert Berger, Producers Branch

Returning to the Board after a hiatus is:

Richard Edlund, Visual Effects Branch

The Academy’s 17 branches are each represented by three governors, who may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms. The Board of Governors sets the Academy’s strategic vision, preserves the organization’s financial health, and assures the fulfillment of its mission.

Because only one of the three seats from each branch is up for election each year, two-thirds of the board members continued in their positions and will stand for election in 2018 or 2019.

The continuing governors are Laura Dern and Tom Hanks, Actors Branch; David Rubin and Bernard Telsey, Casting Directors Branch; John Bailey and Daryn Okada, Cinematographers Branch; Jim Bissell and Jan Pascale, Designers Branch; Michael Mann and Steven Spielberg, Directors Branch; Rory Kennedy and Roger Ross Williams, Documentary Branch; Jim Gianopulos and William Mechanic, Executives Branch; Mark Goldblatt and Carol Littleton, Film Editors Branch; Lois Burwell and Leonard Engelman, Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch; Michael Giacchino and Laura Karpman, Music Branch; Mark Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers Branch; Marvin Levy and Nancy Utley, Public Relations Branch; Jon Bloom and Bill Kroyer, Short Films and Feature Animation Branch; Kevin Collier and Scott Millan, Sound Branch; Craig Barron and John Knoll, Visual Effects Branch; and Billy Ray and Robin Swicord, Writers Branch.

Reginald Hudlin, Gregory Nava and Jennifer Yuh are at-large governors chosen as part of the Academy’s diversity initiative.