Lesli Linka Glatter has been elected president of the DGA at the guild’s biennial convention, held today at DGA national headquarters in Los Angeles. Glatter, who was the guild’s 1st vice president, is only the second woman ever elected president of the DGA. Martha Coolidge held the post from 2002-03. Twenty-two men have served as president, going back to the guild’s founding in 1936.
“I am honored to have been chosen by my peers to serve as president, and am committed to continuing our Guild’s great legacy of protecting the economic and creative rights of our members—always with our eye on the future,” Glatter said. “And there is nothing that makes me more hopeful about our future than looking around at this formidable, profoundly creative and incredibly diverse Board representing the future of this industry. I am blown away by their generosity of spirit and dedication to serving their fellow members, even as they juggle such demanding and successful careers. In these times of great technological and cultural change, we stand ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. And just as we have throughout our 85-year history, together we will prevail.”
Glatter, who succeeds Thomas Schlamme, has been on the guild’s National Board since 2003, most recently as First vice president, and before that as fifth vice president. She’s been a member of three Negotiating Committees, including the most recent which achieved another leap in made-for-SVOD residuals as well as gains in wages, pension contributions, and TV creative rights. Her service as a member or alternate of the Western Directors Council, a member of the Creative Rights Committee, and on the PAC Leadership Council spans two decades. Glatter joined the DGA in 1985.
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“It has been a tremendous privilege serving as president over these past four years,” Schlamme said. “And I am equally proud and thrilled to pass this baton into Lesli’s extraordinarily capable hands. Lesli is a powerful force in the industry, and she’s brought that same energy to the service she’s dedicated to our Guild over the past two decades fighting for our members’ rights. She is so uniquely suited to lead us into the future.”
The DGA, as is its custom, didn’t say who, if anyone, ran against her, or how many delegate votes she received.
With her election, the DGA, SAG-AFTRA and the WGA West now all have – or will have shortly – women presidents. Fran Drescher was elected president of SAG earlier this month, and Meredith Stiehm, running unopposed, will be elected president of the WGA West next Tuesday. It’s the first time that all three guilds have had women presidents at the same time.
Glatter is a veteran director of film, network, and premium cable television drama, with both pilots and episodes to her credit. 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 attached to direct the feature adaptation of Ashley’s War for Universal Pictures.
Glatter has been a Producing Director for the last 20 years, and most recently, was the Executive Producer/Director of the award-winning series Homeland. She began her directing career through the American Film Institute’s Directing 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 won twice before for Mad Men and Homeland. Lesli has received eight Emmy nominations and a Humanitas Award nomination for HBO’s 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 formed Backyard Pictures with her producing partner, Cheryl Bloch. She is currently directing and executive producing Love and Death, written by David E. Kelley and starring Elizabeth Olsen for HBO Max.
In addition to her work at the DGA, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Directors Branch of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is also an advisor at the Sundance Institute’s Director’s Lab. She has been committed to mentoring for many years including for the DGA Director Development Initiative – and most recently helped develop the successful NBC program, Female Forward.
She has received the Caucus Foundation Award, the Dorothy Arzner Directing Award from Women in Film and the Franklin Schaffner Award from the American Film Institute, as well as an Honorary Degree from the American Film Institute. Prior to her work as a director, she was a modern dance choreographer who worked throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S.
The convention delegates also elected a new slate of officers and members of the national board of directors. The following officers were elected to serve alongside Glatter: Mary Rae Thewlis was re-elected National Vice President; Paris Barclay, a past-DGA president, was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Also elected were First Vice-President Betty Thomas; 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 Secretary-Treasurer Joyce Thomas.
Complete List of 2021-2023 DGA Officers and National Board Members
Lesli Linka Glatter
Mary Rae Thewlis
Alternate Board Members
Mary Lou Belli
Associate Board Members
Louis J. Guerra
Second Alternate Board Members
Dennis W. Mazzocco