Laura Dern, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, & More Elected to Academy’s Board of Governors


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has held elections for its 2019-2020 Board of Governors. According to a press release, the 54-person board’s number of women has risen from 22 to 24, and the people of color from 10 to 11. Among the newly elected/re-elected members are Laura Dern, “Kung Fu Panda 2” director Jennifer Yuh Nelson, and “Hidden Figures” producer Donna Gigliotti.

The new board will officially commence July 1.

Dern is one of the 10 incumbents re-elected to their posts. She will retain her Actors Branch seat. Other returning board members include Laura Karpman (Music Branch), Nancy Utley (Marketing and Public Relations Branch), and Jan Pascale (Production Design Branch).

Yuh Nelson is among the new board members. She will serve as part of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch. Also newly elected, Gigliotti is joining the Executives Branch. The other new members include Ellen Kuras (Cinematographers Branch) and Ruth Elaine Carter (Costume Designers Branch). The latter won an Oscar for her work on “Black Panther,” making her the first black woman to ever receive the costume design prize.

“Joy Luck Club” producer Janet Yang is one of the three new Governors-at-Large. She is joined by DeVon Franklin and Rodrigo Garcia, meaning all the new Governors-at-Large are people of color.

It’s possible that another woman will be joining the 2019-2020 Board of Governors. Dody Dorn (“Memento”) and Mark Goldblatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) tied for the Film Editors Branch, so a runoff election will be held June 18. Dorn is the challenger and Goldblatt the incumbent.

Later this year a new Academy president will be elected as incumbent John Bailey is reaching his term limit and will be stepping down. He was re-elected last August. Prior to that, he was accused of sexual harassment. The Academy held an investigation and “unanimously cleared” him.