2021 NYWIFT Summit: The Creative Industry Radically Reimagined Day 1: WarnerMedia Executives Present Inclusion Initiatives

Please join us on Day 1 of the 2021 The Creative Industry Radically Reimagined Summit. Our opening panel will be WarnerMedia Executives Present Inclusion Initiatives


Welcome Speakers:

Jamie Zelermyer, NYWIFT Board President
Jamie has been a New York based Producer and Production Executive for the past 20 plus years. Currently she is Producing IFP Week 2019 which is a signature program of the Independent Feature Project (IFP). Most recently she was the Program Manager of Made In New York: Pilot Competition, a program founded by The Mayor’s Office of Film Media and Entertainment to tackle gender inclusivity in the television industry. Jamie Executive Produced the two winning half hour pilots and Executive Produced season 1 of the winning show entitled Half Life starring Larisa Oleynik and Nancy Giles. Prior to this she produced Ratter starring Ashley Benson and Matt McGorry which was released by Sony Worldwide in March 2016. She was the VP, Physical Production at Focus Features / Rogue Pictures for six years ending in November 2012. At Focus she oversaw such movies as AdmissionOne DayJane EyreSin Nombre and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Prior to Focus Jamie was a Line Producer and Production Manager working on films such as Igby Goes DownBoys Don’t Cry and You Can Count on Me. Over the years, she has had the privilege to work with a number of notable directors including Steve McQueen, Lone Scherfig, Kenneth Lonergan, Cary Fukanaga and Kimberly Pierce. Jamie is on the board of New York Women in Film and Television, and is an adviser on NYWIFT’s The Writers Lab, a program for female writers over 40 funded by Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. She is a graduate of Bard College.

Welcome Address by Chi-hui Yang, Senior Program Officer, JustFilms, Creativity and Free Expression, Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice

Chi-hui Yang is part of the Creativity and Free Expression team and makes grants globally in documentary film, new media, and visual storytelling for the foundation’s JustFilms program. He manages a portfolio of grants that support artist-led, socially engaged filmmaking, advance a more equitable and inclusive documentary sector, and build the power of organizations and individuals grounded in communities of color and the Global South.
Before joining the foundation in 2015, Chi-hui worked extensively as a film curator, including as a selection committee member for MoMA’s Doc Fortnight and consulting series producer for PBS’s POV. Among his independently curated programs are the 2008 Flaherty Film Seminar “The Age of Migration” and the film series and symposium “Lines and Modes: Media, Infrastructure, and Aesthetics.” From 2000 to 2010, he was director of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the largest event of its kind in the nation.

NYWIFT Welcome and Annual Summit in Review from Executive Director, Cynthia Lopez and NYWIFT Board Member, Kathryn O’Kane

Cynthia López is an award-winning media strategist, and former Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, where she implemented strategies to support film and TV production throughout the five boroughs. López is the recipient of many coveted industry awards including: 11 News and Documentary Emmy Awards, a Special Emmy Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, three Peabody Awards, and two duPont-Columbia Awards. In addition, she received the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Award for Commitment to Corporate Diversity. Prior to working as Commissioner, López was Executive Vice President and co-Executive Producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series American Documentary | POV, and was involved in the organization’s strategic growth and creative development for 14 years. Her ability to forge strategic partnerships among corporate and public interest media has been a signature of her work. Notable partnerships include: New York Times, Reuters, Al-Jazeera Network, Discovery Communications, The Moth, Story Corps, Harpo Studios and ABC News, NIGHTLINE with Ted Koppel. López is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), and is proud to have spent her career collaborating with independent filmmakers across all portions of the film and television industry. She served on the Board of Trustees for the Paley Center, NYC & Company, Museum of the Moving Image and the Tribeca Film Institute Latin America Fund Advisory Board. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Latino Public Broadcasting, Manhattan Neighborhood Network and Hunter College IMA Program.

Kathryn O’Kane is currently the showrunner and director of the Disney+ docuseries Parenting Without Borders, which examines how culture shapes parenting around the world and is hosted and executive produced by Jessica Alba. Kathryn was also the showrunner of the James Beard award-winning Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, a four-part travel culinary series on Netflix based on Samin Nosrat’s best-selling book of the same name. Kathryn recently directed and produced episodes of Death Row Stories, a true crime documentary series for CNN. Kathryn is a non-fiction director/producer with over 15 years of experience in television, advertising, and web media.
She provides content for clients like ABC, IBM, OWN, Nike, Discovery, and Sundance Channel. Her strength is telling character-driven stories, and she’s crafted narratives as diverse as Mission Juno, documenting NASA’s probe to Jupiter; Talking Dead, the hit show for AMC; and commercial assignments for United Airlines, SAP and Kellogg’s. Having started her career supporting democratic initiatives in Latin America, Kathryn first learned the power of messaging while organizing election observations in the Dominican Republic with President Jimmy Carter. She now seeks to bridge cultural differences through art and storytelling.

Opening Keynote Conversation with: Christy Haubegger, EVP, Communications and Chief Inclusion Officer, WarnerMedia and Journalist, Natasha Del Toro

Recognized for advancing diverse representation in the entertainment industry, Haubegger leads WarnerMedia’s global marketing and communications efforts and is also responsible for furthering diversity, equity and inclusion across the enterprise’s workforce, so it more closely reflects the audience and community the company serves. Additionally, Haubegger works cross-divisionally to support and facilitate WarnerMedia’s overall mission to deliver the world’s best stories and most engaging content to help its global businesses capitalize on the outsized opportunities represented by underserved and diverse voices. 

Haubegger joined WarnerMedia from Creative Artists Agency (CAA) where she spent 14 years leading the company’s drive to become the market leader in the representation of women and people of color, as well as transforming the workforce to become the most diverse and inclusive agency in the entertainment business. Under Haubegger’s leadership, CAA launched CAA Amplify, an invitation-only annual event convening high-level multicultural artists and leaders, as well as the Amplify Database, the industry’s first searchable database of television writers of color. During her tenure, the agency grew its diverse roster more than 1400% and according to USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the agency now represents the largest share of female directors and African- American directors in the motion picture business. 

Upon graduating from Stanford Law School, Haubegger founded Latina magazine in 1996. She moved into the world of entertainment in 2002 and worked as a film producer on Chasing Papi (20th Century Fox) and Oscar-winner James L. Brooks’ romantic comedy Spanglish (Columbia Pictures). 

Haubegger serves on the boards of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (ml4t.org), a non-profit organization that works to increase the number of minority business leaders, as well as Hudson Pacific Properties (NYSE: HPP). Haubegger is also a founding member of TIME’S UP, an initiative that addresses systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace; and “Poderistas” (formerly known as “She Se Puede”), a coalition of 10 prominent Latina activists from a variety of backgrounds who elevate, celebrate, and inspire Latinas to amplify their voices and actions on behalf of themselves, their communities and injustice in the workplace. 

Natasha Del Toro (Moderator) is an award-winning journalist and host. She reported and produced investigative documentaries for Fusion’s Naked Truth, which became a popular docu-series on Netflix and was part of a consortium of journalists that won a Pulitzer for their reporting on the Panama Papers. She currently hosts PBS’s long-running America Reframed on World Channel and appears regularly as a correspondent on Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines, a current affairs documentary show, where she has reported on the Catholic sex abuse scandal, corrupt cops in Baltimore, and FEMA’s failed response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. A Fulbright scholar, she also anchored a news magazine on Facebook Watch called Mic Dispatch and worked for PBS’ Frontline World and Time.com, traveling across the U.S. with internationally acclaimed photographer Joakim Eskildsen to create a book and multimedia website on poverty in America called American Realities. That project led to an Emmy award-winning documentary by KQED and Center for Investigative Reporting called Hunger in the Valley Of Plenty. Born to Puerto Rican parents and raised in North Carolina, she is bilingual and proud of her southern and Latino roots.


WarnerMedia Executives Present Inclusion Initiatives

WarnerMedia Executives in conversation with journalist about how they implemented diversity and inclusion initiatives across all platforms.


Karen Horne, SVP Enterprise Inclusion (Programs) 
Karen joins us from NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios where she was SVP, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion for NBC Entertainment, responsible for overseeing in-front-of and behind-the-camera diversity efforts. Karen will be working to align our diversity investments and programs, collaborating with all WarnerMedia business units on existing programs, as well as expanding our efforts in new areas. She will also be establishing WarnerMedia’s inclusion programs in Canada and scaling efforts in international territories. Karen serves on the boards for the Alliance of Women Directors; USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media. 

Samata Narra, SVP Enterprise Inclusion (Content) 
Samata joins us from FOX where she was SVP of Comedy Development and Current Programming. Prior to joining FOX, she spent the greater part of a decade in representation at Fineman Entertainment and The William Morris Agency. Samata will be responsible for building innovative tools and global systems across the company to help facilitate the advancement of diversity in our storytelling. She serves as President of the Board of Film2Future, a non-profit providing equitable access to the entertainment industry for underrepresented LA youth. She also serves on the boards of Colour Entertainment and South Asian Women in Entertainment (SAWIE). 

Asif Sadiq: SVP Equity & Inclusion, International, WarnerMedia
Sadiq has a long career in the diversity and inclusion space with senior executive roles at adidas, The Telegraph Media Group, EY Financial Services and the City of London Police. He has reportedly been named as one of the most influential Global D&I Leaders by Hive Learning and occupies a place on the CIPD’s Top 20 Power List. He is a winner of numerous awards including the highly commended Head of Diversity Award at the European Diversity Awards and was honored with an MBE in 2017 by the Queen and granted the freedom of the City of London in 2016. 
In addition to his accolades, Sadiq is currently a leadership fellow at St George’s House at Windsor Castle, co-author of “Global Diversity Management” and “Diversity Management that Works,” and an Alumni of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) which is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. 

MyKhahn Shelton: SVP Equity & Inclusion, WarnerMedia
MyKhanh was most recently SVP, Global Inclusion, Engagement & Diversity at 21st Century Fox where she worked with business leaders to design strategies and initiatives to increase Diversity, Equity and Inclusion across the company. She will be working closely with the Human Resources team and our business units to create consistent measurements, practices, and systems to achieve our workforce goals. MyKhanh will also be working with our business resource groups (BRG), as well as supplementing learning and development programs for under-represented groups to increase recruitment, retention and advancement. MyKhanh is a member of the International Board of Directors and the Los Angeles Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves, a non-profit whose mission is to engage students in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism to promote the development of a more just and humane citizenry. 


See full schedule


June 22 @ 4:00pm
4:00 pm — 6:00 pm (2h)

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.