Film academy elects first African-American president, marketing exec Cheryl Boone Isaacs

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A veteran marketing executive is the new president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the first African-American to hold the job and only the third woman in the post.

The organization's board of governors elected Cheryl Boone Isaacs to the position Tuesday evening.

She is the first woman to hold the post in three decades; actress Bette Davis held the post for just two months in 1941, and screenwriter Fay Kanin served for four years from 1979-83, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Boone Isaacs was elected to a one-year term but is eligible to serve four successive terms. She succeeds Hawk Koch, who served for one year but was ineligible for re-election.

Boone Isaacs previously served as first vice president of the film academy, which announced its new president via Twitter.

In its official announcement, the academy also announced other appointments:

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. Boone Isaacs succeeds Hawk Koch, who served a one-year term as president.

In addition, John Lasseter was elected first vice president; Jeffrey Kurland and Leonard Engelman were elected to vice president posts; Dick Cook was elected treasurer; and Phil Robinson was elected secretary.

The academy was founded in 1927 by 36 men and women in the motion picture industry and is an honorary membership organization whose ranks now include more than 6,000 artists and professionals, according to the academy's official website. It is best known for handing out Oscars for film achievement.


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