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Academy Governors Choose Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the First African-American AMPAS President

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by Anne Thompson
July 31, 2013 3:35 AM
2 Comments
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Cheryl Boone-Isaacs

Tuesday night the newly elected board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voted for a new president to replace outgoing Hawk Koch, who had come to the end of his one-year term. The race was between two members of the Academy Public Relations Branch, Lionsgate motion picture chief Rob Friedman, who has a demanding full-time job, and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, a former Paramount and Lionsgate marketing and publicity executive whose firm CBI Enterprises, Inc. consults on such film campaigns as “The Call,” “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech,” “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” “Spider-Man 2” and “Tupac: Resurrection.”

Boone Isaacs, who is beginning her 21st year as a governor representing the Public Relations Branch, served as Academy first vice president during the past year. She also produced the 2012 Governors Awards. 

In addition, Disney/Pixar animation czar John Lasseter was elected first vice president, after having served one-year terms as treasurer (2011-2012) and secretary (2009-2010). Jeffrey Kurland and Leonard Engelman were elected to vice president posts; Dick Cook was elected treasurer; and Phil Robinson was elected secretary. Robinson served as vice president during the past year, his fourth consecutive term in that office (2009-2013). These will be the first officer stints for Engelman, Kurland and Cook. 

Boone Isaacs' brother Ashley Boone was also a prominent studio executive. Fay Kanin is the only other woman to serve as AMPAS president. Boone Isaacs is the first African American to hold the post in the Academy's 86-year history.

Academy board members may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive years in any one office.

2 Comments

  • cadavra | July 31, 2013 10:18 PMReply

    Slight correction: Boone Issacs is officially the third female AMPAS President. Bette Davis often isn't counted because she resigned after just a few weeks; Kanin was the first to serve at least one full term.

  • Brian | July 31, 2013 1:07 PMReply

    Ashley Boone was a prominent black studio marketing executive at Fox for many years before leaving Fox to join Alan Ladd Jr. at the Ladd Company. He died way too young. I used to see articles about him, with his photo attached, in Variety all the time and no one ever made a big deal about his race. In fact, I never saw it mentioned at all in those articles.

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