The HFPA Announces the Hiring of Expert Advisors

Following this weekend’s announced commitment to transformational change, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announced the hiring of two experienced, renowned advisors to assist with the implementation of its sweeping plan.   

 At the core of the HFPA’s plan to tackle diversity issues, we are hiring Dr. Shaun Harper, a leading expert on racial equity, Provost Professor in the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, and founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center, as our Strategic Diversity Advisor for the next five years. Dr. Harper will conduct an audit and review of the Association’s bylaws, culture, and eligibility requirements to help us guard against any exclusionary practices and achieve a more diverse membership.  He will also create and conduct a series of anti-racism and unconscious bias training for our members. Dr. Harper will also guide us in developing and implementing a comprehensive, multi-year diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.

We are also retaining Ropes & Gray as outside counsel to conduct a comprehensive review of HFPA policies, assess our membership process, operations, governance, and review our alignment with industry best practices in various areas.  The firm will also support the continued development of a confidential reporting system for investigating alleged violations of our ethical standards and code of conduct.  The Ropes & Gray team will be led by Alex Rene, Morey Ward, and James Dowden.  This team brings deep experience advising nonprofits on high-profile corporate governance, compliance, and ethics matters.

We understand the importance of building a more inclusive organization and becoming more transparent in our operations, and these hires are an important first step. We remain committed to fostering an environment that better reflects our core values, affords us the opportunity to continue as valuable members of the entertainment community, and restores faith, trust, and confidence in our organization.