Academy Software Foundation Adopts Inclusivity-Driven Board Plan – The Hollywood Reporter

The Academy Software Foundation has adopted new rules for its governance, aimed at creating more diversity and inclusion and introducing new leaders to its ranks.

Formed in August 2018 as a partnership between the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Linux Foundation, the Foundation is a neutral hub for the development of open-source software used in areas of the entertainment industry such as animation, visual effects and sound. It currently has 33 member organizations (among them, DreamWorks Animation, Epic Games and Weta FX) and manages 10 open source projects and five working groups.

The board has voted to establish term limits: Governing board members now have a four-year maximum term, with the ability to serve again after a minimum two-year break. To do this, it will rotate out a minimum of 25 percent of board members annually, beginning Dec. 1. Governing board members must also select an alternate within their first two years of membership. Alternates will serve as voting members if their primary members are unavailable. The governing board intends to have alternates in place by July 1.

The board currently has 20 members, representing 18 member organizations, the general membership and the Technical Advisory Council membership. Starting this spring, the governing board also plans to work with its diversity and inclusion working group to conduct an annual census of the board and adjust goals for representation accordingly.

These updates to the board rules were created by the diversity and inclusion working group, headed by Carol Payne (an imaging technologist at Netflix) and Rachel Rose (R&D supervisor at ILM), and a board committee led by Mike Ford (CTO, Sony Pictures Imageworks) and Andy Maltz (senior vp, Science and Technology Council at the Academy).

“While the result of this work is great, another amazing outcome is the collaboration and engagement from current ASWF governing board members to make it happen. All of them have embraced this cause wholeheartedly,” said Payne.

“It’s crucial for the Academy Software Foundation to lead by example on issues of representation in our industry, and this new succession plan for our governing board is an important first step toward making our leadership more inclusive,” said Maltz. “Collaborating with the D&I working group to develop and implement this plan was an impactful expression of the Foundation’s community-minded spirit, and we look forward to welcoming new members to our Governing Board.”

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