Academy Museum Announces New Board of Trustees Members - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Academy Museum Announces New Board of Trustees Members



The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures today announced the election of three new members to its Board of Trustees effective July 1, 2022:

  • Dr. Eric Esrailian, a film producer, philanthropist, physician, and entrepreneur who is involved in philanthropic efforts connecting health, human rights, education, and the arts;
  • Julia S. Gouw, the Chairwoman of Piermont Bank, philanthropist, arts patron, and prominent proponent for advancing AAPI representation in entertainment;
  • Shira Ruderman, Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, whose philanthropic efforts have helped to improve the portrayal of disabilities in entertainment and increase the number of roles that cast actors with disabilities, in addition to her philanthropy focused on the American Jewish community.
These three new trustees bring diverse perspectives around arts, philanthropy, and inclusion as well as wide-ranging and vital professional experiences to the governing body of the Academy Museum. As the museum ends its first operating fiscal year in excellent shape—more than 570,000 tickets have been sold since the September 30, 2021 opening—these new trustees will help continue the evolution and success of the project.

Ted Sarandos, Board Chair and Co-CEO of Netflix, said, “We are thrilled to welcome these three extraordinary leaders, who have already done so much to advance our community, and the industry at large, through their commitment to diversity, innovation, and excellence. As members of our board, they will support and guide the Academy Museum in realizing its ambitious mission of increasing public appreciation for the arts and sciences of moviemaking and exploring the ongoing, multifaceted history of film.”

Academy Museum Director and President and incoming Academy CEO Bill Kramer added, “I join Ted and the entire Academy Museum Board of Trustees in welcoming Eric, Julia, and Shira. We have strong working relationships with all of them, and they have helped us open the Academy Museum in a powerful way. Their strong executive experience, profound philanthropic spirit, and dedication to the goals of diversity and inclusion will be invaluable to us. They will help us tell the rich and varied stories of cinema to Los Angeles and the world.”

The new trustees join current Board members Ted Sarandos, Chair; Miky Lee (Mie Kyung Lee), Vice-Chair; Kimberly Steward, Secretary; Jim Gianopulos, Treasurer; Patricia S. Bellinger, Jason Blum, Arnaud Boetsch, Olivier de Givenchy, Laura Dern, David Dolby, Sidonie Seydoux Dumas, Sid Ganis (Honorary Trustee), Ray Halbritter, Tom Hanks, Dawn Hudson, Bill Kramer, David Linde, Eva Longoria, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, Ryan Murphy, Dominic Ng, Katherine Oliver, David Rubin, Regina K. Scully, Emma Thomas, Diane von Furstenberg, and Kevin Yeaman.


Dr. Eric Esrailian is a film producer, philanthropist, physician, and entrepreneur. He is also actively involved in philanthropic efforts connecting the arts with health, human rights, and education. Dr. Esrailian has been a significant supporter of Academy Museum educational programs and is part of the leadership of several philanthropic organizations, including the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Dr. Esrailian is a Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Medicine and the Chief of the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In 2012, the School of Medicine awarded Dr. Esrailian the Lincy Foundation Chair in Clinical Gastroenterology.

He has produced films with a focus on human rights issues and social impact, including The Promise (2016) by Terry George, starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale. He also produced the educational companion documentary Intent to Destroy (2017) with Joe Berlinger, which was nominated for an Outstanding Historical Documentary Emmy. These films, and the accompanying social impact campaigns, drew unprecedented attention to the Armenian Genocide, contributed to US government recognition of the historical facts, and led to the creation of The Promise Institute for Human Rights and The Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA. In 2017, the university designated Dr. Esrailian as a UCLA Optimist—among its notable alumni and faculty dedicated to solving the world’s problems. In 2019, Dr. Esrailian and his partners launched SOMM TV—a streaming service with original series, films, and master classes dedicated to wine and food. In 2021, he was honored by Pope Francis at the Vatican with the Benemerenti Medal for his humanitarian activities around the world.

Julia S. Gouw is the Chairwoman of Piermont Bank, a digital commercial bank that serves the fintech ecosystem. She is the former President and Chief Operating Officer of East West Bank. She was ranked one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking” five times by American Banker magazine and has twice received the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Women Making a Difference” award in recognition of her achievements and philanthropic contributions.

A supporter of AAPI programming at the Academy Museum, she is a proponent of advancing AAPI representation in entertainment. She was recently honored as an “Entertainment Game Changer” at Asia Society Southern California’s US Asia Entertainment Summit.

She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Pacific Life and VIZIO. Born and raised in Indonesia, Gouw came to the United States in 1978 and earned her BS degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Shira Ruderman is a senior executive and social justice activist and philanthropist. For over the past 20 years, she has been focused on disability rights and inclusion, US-Israel relations, and strategic philanthropy. As Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, Shira has strategically and systematically planned and executed large-scale, change-driving processes at the national and international levels and serves as a mentor to individuals and organizations at critical stages of growth, based on her philanthropic experience as both a donor and a foundation director.

Under Shira’s leadership, the Ruderman Family Foundation has been at the forefront of a movement to enhance inclusivity and authenticity within Hollywood which over the past three years has seen major studios such as CBS Entertainment, NBC Universal, Paramount, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, adopt the Foundations guidelines, committing to audition actors with disabilities for studio productions. She has also worked to introduce a new paradigm for the discourse regarding relations between Israel and the American Jewish community.

As a senior executive and serial achiever in the world of social justice, Shira’s impact over the last two decades has focused on disability rights & inclusion, US-Israel relations and strategic philanthropy. Shira is an alumna of the 8200 elite IDF unit and holds an MA in Public Policy and a BA in Education from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is also the recipient of the 2022 Jerusalem Unity Prize. She serves in senior management and leadership positions such as Chairwoman of the Fulbright Foundation; Mass General President Consul; Board member of the Jewish Funders Network and previously with the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee – Israel.

Born and raised in Israel, she now lives in Boston with her husband Jay and their four children.

Images: (left) Dr. Eric Esrailian, Photo by John Russo; (center) Julia S. Gouw, Photo by Jeff Caroli; (right) Shira Ruderman, Photo courtesy: Ruderman Family Foundation

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