Academy Renews Dawn Hudson's Contract as CEO

Dawn Hudson

Hudson, who oversees the Academy's day-to-day activities, will continue in that role through 2017.

Dawn Hudson’s contract as CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science was renewed at a meeting of the Academy’s board of governors. Her new contract, which has been renewed for three years, runs through 2017.

Hudson was selected in 2011 to succeed Bruce Davis, who was retiring as the Academy’s longtime executive director, a post he had held since 1990.

In choosing Hudson, then head of Film Independent, the Academy adopted a new executive structure, naming Hudson as CEO and appointing Ric Robertson, who had been serving as the organization’s second-in-command since 1981, as COO. The two operated side by side until September 2013, when Robertson announced he was stepping down.

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Working under a three-year contract that began in June 2011, Hudson has overseen the day-to-day operations of the Academy’s 300 staff members, has pressed its 17 branches to invite in more women and minorities, presided over rising ratings for the Oscars -- with 43.7 million viewers, the March show was the most watched in 10 years -- and through her friendship with Los Angeles County Museum of Art CEO Michael Govan, she is playing a key role in the development of the new Academy Museum, which is scheduled to open in 2017. The Academy has tapped Kerry Brougher, the interim director and chief curator of the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., to head the new museum.

At the same time, Hudson’s critics have charged, though, that she also has spent too freely. Academy expenses for fiscal year 2013 rose $8.8 million to $97.3 million, while revenue increased $31.1 million to $134.4 million.

Hudson works in conjunction with the Academy president, who is elected annually by the Academy’s board of governors, for up to four consecutive terms -- that role is currently held by Cheryl Boone Isaacs, a veteran marketing executive.