Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs has decided not to seek re-election for the board. Isaacs, who made history as the Academy’s first black president (and third female president) will be ending her four-year term opening the spot up for a new selection in June. Per sources within the Academy, Isaacs is looking forward to some time off after a grueling four years in office.
“It’s been my greatest honor serving on the Academy’s board of governors in numerous capacities for more than two decades, and it will be a privilege to provide the opportunity for new voices to have a seat at the table,” Boone Isaacs said in an official statement.
Meanwhile, there are a number of big names among the 157 Academy members who have thrown their hat into the ring for this year’s board race, which soon will result in a winnowing down of the ballot to no more than four candidates from each of the organization’s 17 branches, from which each branch will pick a single representative in June. (Each branch also has two other representatives; terms are staggered so that only one comes up for election each year.)
There are definitely a number of big names among the 157 Academy members who have thrown their hat in the ring for this year’s board race including Netflix chief Ted Sarandos, Sony Classics co-chief Michael Barker and CBS Films president Terry Press, Get Out producer Jason Blum, Rush Hour director Brett Ratner, Pixar and Disney president Ed Catmull, Martin Scorsese’s longtime producer Irwin Winkler, Tom Cruise’s former producing partner Paula Wagner, documentarian Morgan Spurlock, Weta chief Joe Letteri and actors Geena Davis, Whoopi Goldberg, Queen Latifah and Rita Wilson (whose husband, Tom Hanks, already serves on the board). Several former board members who once served as officers are also in the mix — including past president Hawk Koch, past vice president Rob Friedman and past treasurer Dick Cook — as well as former marketing chief Christina Kounelias and Michael De Luca, who recently co-produced the 89th Oscars telecast.
There’s some diversity amongst the first-round board contenders, which is a high priority of Academy CEO Dawn Hudson’s and has been of Isaacs’, as well. Candidates include John Ridley, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave and the force behind TV’s acclaimed American Crime; 91-year-old Marcia Nasatir; the first female to serve as a vice president at a major studio; Native American actor Lou Diamond Phillips; Mandy Walker, one of the industry’s rare female cinematographers; and documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the only Pakistani to win multiple Oscars.
Academy board members may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms before “terming out” and having to take a year off before running again, while officers, such as the president, are chosen from and by the board for one-year terms, and are permitted no more than four consecutive terms in any one office. Boone Isaacs just completed her second three-year term on the board, and which means she was eligible to seek one more term, but wouldn’t have been able to run for president again.
We honor Cheryl Boone Isaacs for her historical terms as the Academy president and we wish her well in her future endeavors!