On Tuesday, the newly-installed board of governors of the motion picture academy re-elected marketing exec Cheryl Boone Isaacs as their president for a third term of one year. She is the first African American to head up this organization that oversees the Oscars in its 88-year history and just the third woman after Bette Davis (1941) and scripter Fay Kanin (1979 – 1983). Issacs, who has her own marketing company, was the one-time marketing chief at New Line and prior to that was chief of publicity at Paramount.
Back in 2013, she had defeated Lionsgate exec Rob Friedman to replace producer Hawk Koch, who’d served a single one-year term. He had not been eligible for re-election to the board due to term limits that allow for only three consecutive three-year stints as a governor. That won’t happen to Isaacs.
She has been on the board for 23 years, albeit with mandated breaks, and presides over an expanded group of 51 governors (with three people now representing each of the 17 branches) that includes a record 17 women. She will be eligible for just one more term as president and is likely to be re-elected given the board’s history of giving the president the maximum number of one-year terms (four).
After being the lone female on the executive committee for two years, she is now joined by producer Kathleen Kennedy, who was elected to one of the two VP posts; Bill Kroyer (Short Films and Animation) is the other. Costume designer Jeffrey Kurland was re-upped as first vice president, Fox exec Jim Gianopoulos, who returned to the board this year, was elected treasurer and writer Phil Robinson was named secretary.
While Issacs broke with precedent last year and re-upped Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron months before the summer election, she has yet to name their replacements this year.