Jay D. Roth

Meet the interviewer:

Jay D. Roth

5 interview(s)

Jay D. Roth is widely known as the former longtime National Executive Director of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), which protects and extends the economic and creative rights of its more than 17,000 members working in the U.S. and abroad. In May 2017, he began a new role with the Guild as Senior Advisor.

As DGA National Executive Director for 22 years, Mr. Roth addressed head-on industry changes fueled by the Digital Age through eight successful rounds of negotiations. Together with revitalized health and pension plans and many other gains for directors and their teams – members and the industry were set on a course for future success.

Internationally, Mr. Roth directed the DGA’s work with organizations representing directors, collecting societies, international authors groups, and other organizations similarly dedicated to protecting the rights of the director. He also oversaw the Guild’s representation of its members around the world. In recognition of his work in helping to create and promote cultural exchange, President Sarkozy of France named Roth a recipient of the French Legion of Honor in 2009.

Mr. Roth is the chairman of the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plans and, for over 20 years, has been co-chair of its Finance Committee, which, jointly with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and other industry producers, administers a $3.5 billion pension and health fund for DGA members and their families.

Mr. Roth, who began his career as a civil rights lawyer, became one of the nation's leading labor and entertainment lawyers. He was managing partner of the law firm Taylor, Roth, Bush & Geffner which specialized in the representation of entertainment guilds, labor organizations and pension, health and welfare funds in labor, entertainment, bankruptcy and transactional matters. In that role, he represented clients including the DGA, the Writers Guild of America, IATSE and the Motion Picture Industry Plans in cases involving hundreds of millions of dollars in residuals. Mr. Roth left his firm in 1995 to become the National Executive Director of the DGA.

Mr. Roth has worked closely with the Motion Picture & Television Fund, for which he is Treasurer, and has served as a board member for over 20 years. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Mr. Roth served as chair of the Labor Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and as chair of the American Bar Association Airline-Railway Labor Law Committee. He was also elected a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

In February 2017, Mr. Roth was the recipient of the DGA Presidents Award for his leadership and extraordinary efforts in enhancing the welfare and image of the Guild and the industry, and in 2008, the DGA recognized him with the DGA Honorary Life Member Award. In 2017, he was presented with the first-ever IATSE Honorary Lifetime Membership Award.

He was born and raised in New York and is a graduate of the University of Vermont and Boston University Law School. He is married to his wife of over 45 years, Sherry Grant, an attorney who represents injured workers. Together they have a daughter and son-in-law, Gina and Dan O'Donnell, and two grandchildren, Jack and Caroline.

VH146 Warren Adler
by  Jay D.  Roth
November 21, 2011
Visual History 158 Michael Apted
by  Jeremy  Kagan...
February 06, 2013
Don Gold Interview
by  Jay D.  Roth
June 16, 2011
VH198 Jeremy Kagan
by  Jeremy  Kagan...
April 17, 2017
VH144 Michael Mann Hero
by  Jay D.  Roth...
June 03, 2016