Cheryl Boone Isaacs Elected Academy President, First Ever African-American

Image: Cheryl Boone Isaacs Elected Academy President, First Ever African-American

Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013 03:00 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the veteran marketing executive, was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by the Academy’s board of governors on Tuesday.

A longtime academy insider, Isaacs will be the first-ever African-American to serve in the position and the third woman to hold the position.

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Isaacs had previously held every office within the organization except for that of the president, the Los Angeles Times noted.

"I think it's wonderful. She's a person who has paid her dues for the academy. She is smart, she is effective, and she cares," Tom Sherak, a former academy president, told the Los Angeles Times.

"She knows all the ins and outs of the academy. She doesn't have to start at the beginning. She will bring an excitement and an energy to the organization," Sherak added. "I'm truly looking forward to going to the academy and seeing that beautiful face in a frame on the wall as president next to all those other presidents."

A former marketing president for New Line Cinema and executive vice president of worldwide publicity for Paramount Pictures, Isaacs is presently the head of her own company — the Los Angeles based CBI Enterprises Inc.

Through CBI Enterprises, Isaacs played an advisory role on such films as "The Artist," "The King’s Speech," and "Precious," Entertainment Weekly reported.

As president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Isaacs will serve a one-year term with eligibility to stay in the office for three additional years. The position is unpaid.

The selection of Isaacs as president comes as the organization faces criticism over its lack of diversity.

The Academy's membership of about 5,800 individuals is "overwhelmingly white, male and older," according to a 2012 Los Angeles Times survey.

In addition to being responsible for renewing the contracts of the Academy's top staff executives, Isaacs will oversee the hiring of managerial and curatorial staff for the organization's soon-to-be built museum.

Isaacs succeeds film producer Hawk Koch, who served only one year.

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