The Academy Elects Janet Yang as President

The Academy has elected veteran producer Janet Yang as its new president.

Yang, who will be replacing casting director David Rubin who has served since 2019, is the first person of Asian descent and the fourth woman to hold the position.

A well-known producer who forged her way into Hollywood by connecting films and studios with the market in China, Yang first started producing when she worked with Steven Spielberg on Empire of the Sun, working as a liaison for the film’s production in China. She was also a producer on the groundbreaking feature The Joy Luck Club, along with producing The People vs. Larry Flynt, Shanghai Calling and High Crimes.

Yang was able to break into Hollywood when many doors remained closed to Asian Americans, and is known for mentoring other Asian American filmmakers. She co-founded Gold House, the collective that aims to lift up AAPI voices in Hollywood and beyond. A member of the producers branch since 2002, Yang was honored by the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures with a pillar named in her honor in in June.

Yang takes on the leadership position at the Academy at a time of change for the organization, which has weathered scandals during the Oscar telecast like the Will Smith slap and the Moonlight best picture slip up, along with significant change in its voting body following the #OscarSoWhite uproar. The position of Academy CEO was recently filled by Bill Kramer.

“Janet is a tremendously dedicated and strategic leader who has an incredible record of service at the Academy.  She has been instrumental in launching and elevating several Academy initiatives on membership recruitment, governance, and equity, diversity, and inclusion,” noted Academy CEO Bill Kramer.  


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