Documentarian Roger Ross Williams also joins

By Joey Nolfi
Updated July 18, 2016 at 06:17 PM EDT
Credit: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images; Anthony Harvey/Getty Images; Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
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It’s a proper Jurassic Park reunion 23 years in the making: The Academy announced Monday that Laura Dern and Steven Spielberg, who worked together on the 1993 blockbuster, have been elected to serve on its 2016-17 Board of Governors for the first time.

Dern joins the board from the Actors Branch — the largest of the Academy’s 17 branches — as a two-time Oscar nominee, while Spielberg, who has three Academy Awards, represents the Directors Branch.

Also elected to the governing board are Oscar-winning documentarian Roger Ross Williams (Music by Prudence), two-time costume design nominee Sharen K. Davis (Ray), composer Laura Karpman (Black Nativity), and sound engineer Kevin Collier (U2 3D).

“I’m honored and privileged to welcome the Academy’s new Board,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement. “I thank our members for actively participating and taking another step toward inclusion, one that will bring new ideas and perspectives as we continue to expand our global outreach while leading our community forward.”

Academy incumbents re-elected to their board positions include Robin Swicord (Writers Branch), David Rubin (Casting Directors Branch), Jan Pascale (Designers Branch), Nancy Utley (Public Relations Branch) Jon Bloom (Short Films Branch) John Bailey (Cinematographers), and Mark Johnson (Producers Branch).

The Board of Governors also includes three governors-at-large: screenwriter Gregory Nava (Selena), director Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung-Fu Panda 2), and director/producer Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained) — each appointed by Isaacs as part of the Academy’s ongoing diversity initiatives.

In June, the Academy invited its largest and most diverse class of new members in its history. Forty-six percent of new invitees are women, while 41 percent are people of color, including America Ferrera, Idris Elba, Freida Pinto, Takeshi Kitano, and Michael B. Jordan.

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