Thomas Schlamme Elected DGA President: National Board and Officers Chosen

Paris Barclay portrait by Jeff Mosier

June 24, 2017

Los Angeles — Director Thomas Schlamme was elected President of the Directors Guild of America by acclamation by the delegates at the Guild’s National Biennial Convention held today at DGA National Headquarters in Los Angeles.

Thomas Schlamme has been on the Guild’s National Board since 2005, most recently as Third Vice President, and before that as Fifth Vice President. He was Co-Chair of the 2014 and 2017 Negotiating Committees together with Michael Apted, and was also a member of the Committee in 2008. He has been a member of the Western Directors Council since 2003, a member of the Creative Rights Committee since 2001, and is also a founding member of the DGA Political Action Committee’s Leadership Council. In 2017, the Guild honored Schlamme with the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for extraordinary service to the DGA and its membership.  Schlamme joined the DGA in 1978.    

Additionally, 147 delegates representing more than 17,000 members of the DGA elected a new slate of officers and members of the National Board of Directors.

“It is a tremendous honor to be chosen by my peers to lead our Guild, and I greatly look forward to taking on the challenges facing our membership and industry,” said Schlamme to the assembled delegates after the vote. “We have a more than 80-year foundation of leadership. Our strength comes from our solidarity and our ability to anticipate the future. Regardless of what lies ahead, I’m optimistic that our approach assures we are well prepared to protect our creative and economic rights. I am committed to representing the entire membership, and optimistic about tackling the world of tomorrow together.”

 “It has been an honor serving this tremendous Guild as President, and with Tommy taking the reins, I am confident the DGA is in good hands,” said outgoing President Paris Barclay. “We are the gold standard because of our strong leadership of active working directors, and Tommy is not only a leading television director who has helped shape the very landscape of the medium, he has served our Guild for years advancing our interests. I’m thrilled to see him take on this role, and know he’ll do a tremendous job guiding us into the future.”

 “Tommy’s expertise in new media, and his in-depth understanding of new means of distribution were integral to the success of our negotiations, most recently when we achieved unprecedented gains in subscription video on demand residuals,” said Secretary-Treasurer Michael Apted, who served as Schlamme’s Co-Chair on the 2014 and 2017 Negotiating Committees. “He is the clear choice to lead our Guild through the obstacles of tomorrow.”

“The future is upon us and there is no room for complacency, that’s why I want Tommy in the lead,” said Betty Thomas when placing Schlamme’s name in nomination. “Through nuance and guts he’s led us to better and better contracts. There is nobody better prepared or better suited for this role than Tommy Schlamme.”

“We are proud to have Tommy as our new President; he represents the interests of all our members across every category and region,” said National Vice President Vincent Misiano. 

Schlamme is known for his groundbreaking work in television dramas. He began his career directing cutting-edge music videos and concert films for Bette Midler in the 1980s, moving from there to directing Whoopi Goldberg and Robert Klein comedy specials for HBO. 

His feature film directing credits include So I Married an Axe Murderer, starring Mike Myers; You So Crazy, starring Martin Lawrence; and Miss Firecracker, starring Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins. Telefilm credits include Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long, starring John Goodman; and Crazy from the Heart, starring Christine Lahti, both for TNT. 

Shifting to episodic television, Mr. Schlamme produced and directed Tracey Ullman’s critically acclaimed series Tracey Takes On..., for which he received an Emmy Award, after which he began directing numerous episodes of such hit television series as Mad About You, Friends, Ally McBeal, The Practice, Chicago Hope, and ER, for which he won an Emmy nomination for direction of his remarkable live episode. Mr. Schlamme’s long lasting and productive collaboration with writer Aaron Sorkin led to his directing and executive producing three shows together: West Wing, Sports Night, and Studio 60.

Mr. Schlamme directed and is credited with creating the look of such hit series as Spin City, The Larry Sanders Show, and Parenthood, along with Invasion, Boston Public, Mr. Sunshine, Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60, Jack & Bobby, Murder in the First, Pan Am and Manhattan. In addition to directing episodes of other TV dramas such as The Americans, and the mini-series When We Rise for ABC, he continues to develop projects under his company Shoe Money Productions. His latest project SNOWFALL will premiere on FX in 2017.

Mr. Schlamme has won three DGA Awards, having been nominated eight times, and has won nine Emmy Awards. 

The following officers were elected to serve alongside Schlamme. Vincent Misiano was elected National Vice President; Michael Apted, a past-DGA president, was re-elected Secretary-Treasurer.

Also elected were First Vice-President Betty Thomas; Second Vice-President Brooke Kennedy; Third Vice-President Jon Favreau; Fourth Vice-President Ron Howard; Fifth Vice-President Lesli Linka Glatter; Sixth Vice-President Laura Belsey; and Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Scott Berger. 

(A complete list of the new officers and board members is below.)

DGA Officers 2017-2019

  • President, Thomas Schlamme
  • National Vice President, Vincent Misiano
  • Secretary-Treasurer, Michael Apted
  • Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, Scott Berger
  • First Vice-President, Betty Thomas
  • Second Vice-President, Brooke Kennedy
  • Third Vice-President, Jon Favreau
  • Fourth Vice-President, Ron Howard
  • Fifth Vice-President, Lesli Linka Glatter
  • Sixth Vice-President, Laura Belsey

DGA National Board Members 2017-2019

  • Zetna Fuentes
  • Karen Gaviola
  • Julie Gelfand
  • Nicole Kassell
  • Cleve Landsberg
  • Michael Mann
  • Kathleen McGill
  • Christopher Nolan
  • Kimberly Peirce
  • Liz Ryan
  • Steven Spielberg

Alternate Board Members

  • Jon Avnet
  • Valerie Faris
  • Todd Holland
  • John LiBretto
  • Seith Mann
  • Don Mischer
  • Jonathan Mostow
  • Matthew Penn
  • Donald Petrie
  • Dee Rees
  • Rosemary Rodriguez
  • Bethany Rooney
  • David O. Russell
  • Oz Scott
  • Millicent Shelton
  • Morgan Spurlock
  • Tim Story

Associate Board Members

  • Alan B. Curtiss
  • Louis J. Guerra
  • Duncan S. Henderson
  • Dennis W. Mazzocco
  • Tom McDermott

Second Alternate Board Members

  • Lee Blaine
  • Mimi (Marian) Deaton
  • Courtney Franklin
  • Bill Miller
  • Mary Rae Thewlis
  • Michele "Shelley" Ziegler

DGA National Board 2017-2019

DGA National Board 2017-2019

L-R Front Row: Kimberly Peirce, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Scott Berger, DGA National Executive Director Russell Hollander, Sixth Vice-President Laura Belsey, Nicole Kassell, Julie Gelfand. Middle Row: First Vice-President Betty Thomas, Secretary-Treasurer Michael Apted, President Thomas Schlamme, National Vice-President Vincent Misiano, Fifth Vice-President Lesli Linka Glatter, Third Vice President Jon Favreau. Back Row: Liz Ryan, Michael Mann, Cleve Landsberg, Karen Gaviola, Kathleen McGill.

(Not Pictured: Second Vice-President Brooke Kennedy, Fourth Vice-President Ron Howard, Board Members Zetna Fuentes, Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg.)

 Click here to visit the DGA Officers & Board of Directors page

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