Geena Davis

Founder at Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Geena Davis

Geena Davis

Founder at Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Biography

Academy Award winner Geena Davis, one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, is recognized for her tireless advocacy of gender equality in media nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is successfully influencing film and television content creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters — and reduce gender stereotyping — in media targeting children 11 and under.

In 2015, Davis launched the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), an unprecedented initiative in support of women and diversity in the entertainment industry and serves as it’s Co-Founder and Chair. BFF provides a platform to significantly boost the commercial value of content produced and starring minorities and women. This initiative is the only film festival to provide guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and home entertainment distribution for the winners.

In 2012, Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She is an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. Davis is also the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women.

As an actor, Davis has appeared in several roles that have become cultural landmarks. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show “Commander in Chief.”

In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her work in A League of Their Own. Other credits include iconic films such as Tootsie, The Fly, Beetlejuice, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Stuart Little.

Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an award winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer, and a semi-finalist in the Olympic Trials), and a member of the genius society Mensa. Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.

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Overview
Career Highlights

Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

RelSci Relationships

171

Number of Boards

3

Birthday

01/21/1956 - Wareham, MA

Age

63

Number of Awards

3

Relationships
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Research Director at Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

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President at The Jacquelyn & Gregory Zehner Foundation

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Advisor & Washington, D.C. Council Lead at Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

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Advisor & Brazil Council Lead at Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

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Member, Advisory Board at Women Moving Millions

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Geena Davis
Founder at Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Education
Bachelor's in Drama
Class of 1979

Boston University (most commonly referred to as BU) is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. The university is nonsectarian, but is historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The university has more than 4,000 faculty members and 29,000 students,and is one of Boston's largest employers. It offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees, and medical and dental degrees through 18 schools and colleges on two urban campuses. The main campus is situated along the Charles River in Boston's Fenway-Kenmore and Allston neighborhoods, while the Boston University Medical Campus is in Boston's South End neighborhood. BU also operates 75 study abroad programs in over 33 cities in over 20 countries and has internship opportunities in 10 different countries (including the United States and abroad).

Attendee

An independent liberal arts college offering undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

Memberships
Member
Current

Mensa is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. It is a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test. Mensa is formally composed of national groups and the umbrella organization Mensa International, with a registered office in Caythorpe, Lincolnshire, England.

Career History
Special Envoy for Women & Girls
Current
Founder
2004 - Current

Founded by Academy-Award® winning actor and advocate Geena Davis, The Institute is the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence content creators and audiences about the importance of eliminating unconditional bias, highlighting gender balance, challenging stereotypes, creating role models and scripting a wide variety of strong female characters in entertainment and media that targets and influences children ages 11 and under.

Boards & Committees
Member, Advisory Board
Current

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Director
Prior

The White House Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501c(3) organization that aims to advance women’s leadership in all communities and sectors—up to the U.S. presidency—by filling the leadership pipeline with a richly diverse, critical mass of women. The White House Project’s Corporate Council fulfills a unique mission: to engage senior business women on issues that arise at the nexus of government policy, private philanthropy, academia, and business, and to facilitate engagement between senior women in the private and public sectors.

Awards & Honors
2019
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
2013
Breaking The Glass Ceiling Award
2009
Bates College
Creative Works

Beetlejuice

Thelma & Louise

The Fly

Events
Speaker
Los Angeles, CA, United States
2013 Milken Institute Global Conference

Through a unique international agenda and some of the smartest speakers on the planet, the Milken Institute Global Conference tackles the world’s most difficult challenges in an array of fields - from finance and philanthropy, to the environment and education, to government and health.

Attendee
New York City, NY
2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

The mission of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is to turn ideas into action. Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at more than $73.1 billion. The CGI Annual Meeting is held each September in New York City. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting devoted to economic recovery and job creation in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which hosts an annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students who are developing commitments in their communities and around the world.

Attendee
2011 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

The CGI Annual Meeting is an invitation-only event held each September in New York City for heads of state, chief executives of companies, directors of major nonprofits, and other global leaders. For four days, members make new connections and share insights and ideas. They learn about creative approaches taken by organizations around the world. They hear from inspiring speakers who come from different sectors, different countries, and different points of view. They analyze what works, and what doesn't. Then they take that knowledge and use it to create programs that effect meaningful and lasting change in the world.

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