Lesli Linka Glatter was elected President of the DGA at the guild’s biennial convention, held today at DGA headquarters in Los Angeles. Glatter, who was the guild’s 1st vice president, is only the second woman ever to be elected president of the DGA. Martha Coolidge served from 2002-03. Since the guild was founded in 1936, 22 men have served as president.
“I am honored to have been elected President by my colleagues and I feel obliged to continue the great legacy of our guild to protect the economic and creative rights of our members – always with a view to the future,” said Glatter. “And there is nothing that makes me more hopeful for our future than to look around this impressive, deeply creative and incredibly diverse board that represents the future of this industry. I am overwhelmed by their generosity and dedication to serving their peers, even as they juggle such demanding and successful careers. In times of great technological and cultural change, we are ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. And as in our 85-year history, we will prevail together. “
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Glatter, Thomas Schlamme’s successor, has been a member of the guild’s national board since 2003, most recently as first vice-president, and before that as fifth vice-president. She has served on three negotiating committees, including the most recent, which has made another leap in SVOD residuals, as well as increases in wages, pension contributions and TV creative rights. Her service as a member or alternate member of the Western Directors Council, member of the Creative Rights Committee, and the PAC Leadership Council spanned two decades. Glatter joined the DGA in 1985.
“It has been a tremendous privilege to be president for the past four years,” said Schlamme. “And I am just as proud and excited to hand over this baton in Lesli’s exceptionally capable hands. Lesli is a strong force in the industry, and she has brought the same energy to the ministry that she has devoted to our guild over the past two decades to fight for the rights of our members. It is so uniquely suited to lead us into the future. “
The DGA, as is customary, did not say who, if any, was running against it or how many delegate votes it received.
With their election, the DGA, SAG-AFTRA and WGA West now all have – or will soon be – female presidents. Fran Drescher was elected President of SAG earlier this month, and Meredith Stiehm will be elected President of WGA West next Tuesday, unopposed. It is the first time that all three guilds have female presidents at the same time.
Glatter is a veteran director of film, network, and premium cable television dramas with pilots and episodes. Lesli’s TV work includes The Morning Show, Homeland, The Newsroom, The Walking Dead, Justified, Ray Donovan, Masters of Sex, True Blood, Mad Men, The Leftovers, The Good Wife, The West Wing, NYPD Blue, ER, Freaks and Geeks and Twin Peaks. She has also directed numerous pilots including Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars and SIX. Her films include Now and Then, The Proposition, and for HBO State of Emergency. She is currently in charge of the feature film adaptation of Ashley’s War for Universal Pictures.
Glatter has been Producing Director for 20 years and most recently Executive Producer / Director of the award-winning series Homeland. She began her directing career with the American Film Institute’s directorial workshop for women, in which her film Tales of Meeting and Parting was nominated for an Oscar. She has been nominated for eight Directors Guild of America Awards, most recently winning her third DGA Award for directing the Homeland series finale, having previously won twice for Mad Men and Homeland. Lesli has received eight Emmy nominations and one Humanitas Award nomination for the HBO State of Emergency. She is currently developing projects for Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Epix and HBO.
Glatter recently signed a first-look deal with Universal Television and founded Backyard Pictures with production partner Cheryl Bloch. She currently directs and executive producer of Love and Death, written by David E. Kelley and starring Elizabeth Olsen for HBO Max.
In addition to her work at the DGA, she is a member of the Executive Committee of the Directors Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is also a consultant in the Sundance Institute’s Director’s Lab. She has been a mentor for many years, including for the DGA Director Development Initiative – and most recently helped develop the successful NBC program Female Forward.
She received the Caucus Foundation Award, the Dorothy Arzner Director’s Award from Women in Film and the Franklin Schaffner Award from the American Film Institute, as well as an honorary doctorate from the American Film Institute. Before working as a director, she was a modern dance choreographer who worked across Europe, Asia and the USA
Congress delegates also elected a new list of officials and members of the national board. The following officers were elected to serve alongside Glatter: Mary Rae Thewlis was re-elected as National Vice President; Paris Barclay, a former DGA president, was elected treasurer. First Vice President Betty Thomas was also elected; Second Vice President Ron Howard; Third Vice President Barry Jenkins; Fourth Vice President Seith Mann; Fifth Vice President Ava DuVernay; Sixth Vice President Lily Olszewski; and Assistant Treasurer Joyce Thomas.
Full list of DGA officers and national board members 2021-2023
Lesli linka smooth
National Vice President
Mary Rae Thewlis
First Vice President
Second Vice President
Third Vice President
Fourth Vice President
Fifth vice president
Sixth Vice President
Deputy board members
Mary Lou Belli
Associate Board Members
Louis J. Guerra
Second deputy board member
Dennis W. Mazzocco