DGA Extends Jay D. Roth's Contract as National Executive Director

Jay Roth - S 2015

Jay Roth - S 2015

He has held the guild's top management post for the past 20 years.

The Directors Guild of America announced on Wednesday that it has extended Jay D. Roth’s contract as the guild’s national executive director through 2017.  

Roth, who began his career as a legal services and civil rights lawyer, moved to the guild's top management post in 1995 from his position as managing partner of a law firm specializing in the representation of entertainment guilds, labor organizations and pension, health and welfare funds in labor, entertainment, bankruptcy and transactional matters.

“Twenty years ago, we were able to coax Jay out from a highly successful private practice,” DGA president Paris Barclay said in announcing the contract extension. “He’s since been the primary architect of our collective bargaining agreements for seven cycles, establishing transformative creative and economic gains for directors and their teams. DGA members have benefited unbelievably from his wisdom and negotiating prowess in this ever-changing industry — under Jay’s leadership, we continue to look forward.”

“I’m honored by the Guild’s vote of confidence in my service to the membership,” Roth said. “At the DGA, we’ve never wavered in our mission to advance the creative and economic rights of our members. Amidst an increasingly complex and globalizing industry, we are united in our resolve and ready to advance that mission as we prepare to enter negotiations with employers in the coming future.”

In addition to leading negotiations, Roth has spearheaded efforts to modernize the guild, the DGA said. He also has re-focused the Guild’s operations around the management of core functions including: collective bargaining, organizing, jurisdiction and member support — most recently doubling the amount of DGA field representatives to help enforce guild contracts.

Additionally, he created new departments to address the guild’s growing member needs and inform these core functions, including the first communications, research, diversity, credits and government affairs departments. He has supervised efforts to improve the infrastructure of the Guild, including the integration and modernization of dozens of separate computer databases into one unified system to track and record residuals, projects, credits and other vital member data. Internationally, Roth directs DGA’s work with organizations representing directors, collecting societies, international authors groups and other organizations similarly dedicated to protecting the rights of the director. He also oversees the Guild’s work with its 16,000 members around the world.

Roth is the chairman of the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plans and co-chair of its Finance Committee, which, jointly with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and other industry producers, administers a $3 billion pension and health fund for 21,000 participants and their families. Roth is also treasurer of the Motion Picture & Television Fund and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has served as chair of the Labor Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Associations and as chair of the American Bar Association Airline-Railway Labor Law Committee.  He was elected a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

The DGA recognized Roth with the DGA Honorary Life Member Award in 2008.