Thomas Schlamme Re-Elected DGA President

Paris Barclay portrait by Jeff Mosier

June 22, 2019

Los Angeles — Director Thomas Schlamme was re-elected President of the Directors Guild of America by acclamation by the delegates at the Guild’s National Biennial Convention held today at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

Additionally, 155 delegates representing 18,000 members of the DGA elected a new slate of officers and members of the National Board of Directors.

"It is my honor to once again accept the position of President of the Directors Guild of America," said Schlamme. "It's a privilege I don’t take lightly. We're in a time of immense change, and the next few years will be critical for the DGA and for our industry. I am focused and ready to lead us through our next negotiations, and to ensure that the creative and economic rights of directors and their teams are protected for years to come. And I am fortunate that serving alongside me is a dedicated, experienced team of fellow officers elected to represent our members."

Schlamme was first elected President in June 2017, and has been on the National Board since 2005 – previously serving as Third Vice President, and before that as Fifth Vice President. He was the DGA's BA/FLTTA Negotiations Committee Co-Chair in 2017 and 2014, and was also a member of the Negotiations 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. At the 2017 DGA Awards, Schlamme was honored with the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for extraordinary service to the Guild and its membership.

"It is my privilege and pleasure to nominate such a highly qualified candidate for President," said director and DGA Negotiating Committee Co-Chair Jon Avnet, who placed Schlamme's name in nomination. "Time and time again, he’s put in the hard work of serving the DGA while maintaining his demanding day job as a director. He is a leader who not only honors our past, but fights for our membership now and into the future."

Following his re-election, Schlamme took a moment to recognize past President and long-serving Guild leader Michael Apted, who announced he would not be seeking re-election for the role of Secretary-Treasurer: “Michael’s history of Guild service is immeasurable. Suffice it to say, the 21st century of this Guild is because of Michael Apted, and because of his work. We all stand on his shoulders.”

As a director, Schlamme is known for his work on groundbreaking shows that have shaped the landscape of modern television, and expertise creating the look and tone of series. His body of work includes a long-lasting partnership with writer Aaron Sorkin spanning three series – West Wing, Sports Night and Studio 60 – which he directed and executive produced, receiving multiple Emmy Awards. Other series he directed and established the look for include Spin City, The Larry Sanders Show, Parenthood, Pan Am and Manhattan. Earlier in his career, Schlamme directed numerous episodes of successful comedy and drama series including Mad About You, Friends, The Practice, and ER, for which he received an Emmy nomination for direction of his remarkable live episode. He also produced and directed Tracey Ullman’s critically acclaimed series Tracey Takes On..., for which he received an Emmy Award. 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.

Currently, Schlamme is shooting the upcoming HBO limited series The Plot Against America. Along with his directing work, Mr. Schlamme continues to develop projects through his company Shoe Money Productions. His latest project, SNOWFALL, first premiered on FX in 2017.

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. Mary Rae Thewlis was elected National Vice President; Betty Thomas was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

Also elected were First Vice-President Lesli Linka Glatter; Second Vice-President Ron Howard; Third Vice-President Jon Favreau; Fourth Vice-President Laura Belsey; Fifth Vice-President Bethany Rooney; Sixth Vice-President Lily Olszewski; and Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Scott Berger.

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

DGA Officers 2019-2021

  • President, Thomas Schlamme
  • National Vice President, Mary Rae Thewlis
  • Secretary-Treasurer, Betty Thomas
  • Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, Scott Berger
  • First Vice-President, Lesli Linka Glatter
  • Second Vice-President, Ron Howard
  • Third Vice-President, Jon Favreau
  • Fourth Vice-President, Laura Belsey
  • Fifth Vice-President, Bethany Rooney
  • Sixth Vice-President, Lily Olszewski

DGA National Board Members 2019-2021

  • Jon Avnet
  • Karen Gaviola
  • Julie Gelfand
  • Todd Holland
  • Nicole Kassell
  • Kathleen McGill
  • Don Mischer
  • Christopher Nolan
  • Liz Ryan
  • Oz Scott
  • Steven Spielberg

Alternate Board Members

  • Mary Lou Belli
  • Maria Burton
  • Hanelle Culpepper
  • Ava DuVernay
  • Zetna Fuentes
  • Nora Gerard
  • Maggie Greenwald
  • Anthony Hemingway
  • Joanna Kerns
  • Michelle MacLaren
  • Michael Mann
  • Martha Mitchell
  • Jonathan Mostow
  • Kimberly Peirce
  • Matthew Penn
  • David O. Russell
  • Millicent Shelton

Associate Board Members

  • Valdez Flagg
  • Courtney Franklin
  • Louis Guerra
  • Jennie O'Keefe Armas
  • Joyce Thomas

Second Alternate Board Members

  • Lee Blaine
  • Mimi (Marian) Deaton
  • Dennis Mazzocco
  • Shawn Pipkin-West
  • Jennifer Truelove
  • Thomas Whelan


Lily Bedrossian -
Director of Media Relations
(310) 289-5334