Kathleen Kennedy Elected Chair of AFI Board of Trustees, Succeeds Sir Howard Stringer

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The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced that producer and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has been elected Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. Kennedy will lead the AFI Trustees to set the Institute's priorities and guide its national education programs.

Kennedy succeeds Sir Howard Stringer, who served as Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees since 1999. Robert A. Daly remains Chair of the AFI Board of Directors, a position he has held since 2009.


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"More than 50 years ago, the AFI was created to advance and elevate the art of film, and it has been my privilege to uphold that mission for two decades," said Stringer. "I pass the torch to Kathleen Kennedy with great confidence, for she is a visionary who has not only long served as an AFI Trustee, but will also lead the Institute into the future with her signature taste, talent and intellect."

"It is a distinct honor to be elected as Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees," said Kennedy. "AFI's commitment to the power of storytelling — coupled with its profound respect for the past — is an inspiration in our modern day, and I look forward to working with the Trustees and the incomparable Bob Daly with the goal to shine an even greater light upon the impact these stories have in our nation and around the world."


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The AFI Board of Trustees comprises a panel of leaders from the film and television communities. See the full list here.

About Kathleen Kennedy

Eight-time Academy Award® nominee Kathleen Kennedy is one of the most successful and respected producers and executives in the film industry today. Most recently, she received the Academy's Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 2018 for her contributions to the art form. She joined Lucasfilm in 2012, personally selected by George Lucas to lead the company. Kennedy has produced or executive-produced nearly 100 films.

Among her credits are many of the highest-grossing films in motion picture history, such as the recent STAR WARS entries, JURASSIC PARK, E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL and THE SIXTH SENSE, as well as such blockbuster entertainment as the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, GREMLINS, THE GOONIES and POLTERGEIST.

Her diverse filmography also includes acclaimed dramas such as LINCOLN, WAR HORSE, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY, MUNICH, SEABISCUIT, SCHINDLER'S LIST and THE COLOR PURPLE, and animated films like THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, PERSEPOLIS, AN AMERICAN TAIL and THE LAND BEFORE TIME.

Kennedy has produced the films of such directors as Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, J.J. Abrams, Robert Zemeckis, M. Night Shyamalan, Frank Oz, Peter Bogdanovich and Richard Donner. Prior to joining Lucasfilm, Kennedy headed The Kennedy/Marshall Company, which she founded in 1992 with her husband, director/producer Frank Marshall, and in 1982 she co-founded Amblin Entertainment with Marshall and Steven Spielberg.


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About Sir Howard Stringer

Sir Howard Stringer is currently on the Executive Board of the BBC and the Board of Directors for TalkTalk and Time, Inc. He is Chair of the School Board at Said Business School, Oxford University, and Chairman of Board of Advisors, Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University Medical Center.

Stringer served as Chairman and CEO of the Sony Corporation from June 2005 until June 2012, when he became Chairman of the Board of Directors and was responsible for Sony's entertainment companies: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony/ATV Music Publishing. He retired from that position in June 2013. Prior to joining Sony, Stringer had a distinguished 30-year career as a writer, producer, director and executive at CBS Inc.

He served as President of CBS from 1988 to 1995. Stringer has won nine Emmy Awards®, including two lifetime achievement Emmys® in Media and Technology. In 2005, he was selected by Time Magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential people.


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About the American Film Institute

The American Film Institute was established by presidential proclamation in the White House Rose Garden, and launched its national mandate on June 5, 1967 — to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI's founding Trustees included Chairman Gregory Peck, Vice Chairman Sidney Poitier, Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Jack Valenti and George Stevens, Jr., as Director.

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