Veteran TV director Paris Barclay has been elected president of the Directors Guild of America, becoming the first-ever African American to head the union.
Barclay, whose directing credits include "Sons of Anarchy," "Glee," "NCIS: Los Angeles" and "NYPD Blue," has served four terms on the national board as first vice president and has co-chaired the guild's Diversity Committee since 2004.
"I am profoundly honored to be elected president of the DGA," Barclay said to delegates at a union convention in Los Angeles on Saturday. "The DGA has worked for more than three-quarters of a century to advance the creative and economic rights of directors and their teams, and I look forward to continuing this strong tradition of service. As the son of a glass blower and a tile maker from Chicago, I am extremely humbled to have the honor to serve in the footsteps of the legendary leaders of the DGA like Frank Capra, Robert Wise and Gil Cates."
Barclay ran unopposed and was elected by acclamation at the guild's national biennial convention at the union's headquarters in Los Angeles.
"Paris' qualifications for DGA president are exceptional," said past President Michael Apted when placing Barclay's name in nomination. "His understanding of the issues facing directors and their teams is outstanding and his ability to resolve problems and create solutions is beyond compare."
Director Steven Soderbergh, in seconding the nomination, said: "This is a great moment for our guild. Paris will be a phenomenal leader as we move into the future."
Barclay has received 10 DGA Award nominations for outstanding direction in comedy and drama television. He has also won two Emmy Awards for his direction of "NYPD Blue" and received four additional Emmy nominations for producing and directing.
In an interview, Barclay said his election reflected the guild's commitment to diversity. "It's not surprising that more and more of our members are of different colors and different genders,'' he said. "The more important question is,why aren't the studios and the networks doing a better job as far as hiring talented women and minorities?"
Additionally, 147 delegates representing more than 15,000 members of the DGA elected a new slate of officers and members of the National Board of Directors.
The following officers were elected to serve alongside Barclay: Vincent Misiano was elected national vice president; Michael Apted, a past DGA president, was reelected secretary-treasurer.
Also elected were First Vice President Betty Thomas; Second Vice President Gary Donatelli; Third Vice President Thomas Schlamme; Fourth Vice President Jace Alexander; Fifth Vice President Jon Favreau; Sixth Vice President John LiBretto; and Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Scott Berger.
Barclay succeeds Taylor Hackford, director of "An Officer and a Gentleman," "Dolores Claiborne" and "Against All Odds," who served two terms as president.
One of his principal tasks will be helping to negotiate a new film and television contract for the DGA, whose contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires June 30, 2014.
The union typically begins its negotiations well in advance of the contract expiration and often sets the bargaining pattern for other Hollywood unions.