Our Advisory Board

Dr. Neal Baer

Baer.jpgDr. Neal Baer is Executive Producer of the NBC television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. During his tenure, among the awards the series has won include the Shine Award, People’s Choice Award, the Prism Award, Edgar Award and the Media Access Award. Actors on the show have won six Emmys and the Golden Globe. The series regularly appears among the top ten television dramas in national ratings.

Prior to his work on SVU, Dr. Baer was Executive Producer of the NBC series ER. A member of the show’s original staff and a writer and producer on the series for seven seasons, he was nominated for five Emmys as a producer. He also received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing in A Drama Series for the episodes "Hell and High Water” and "Whose Appy Now?” For the latter, he also received a Writers' Guild of America nomination.

Dr. Baer’s other work includes "Warriors," an episode of China Beach,nominated for a Writers' Guild Award for best episodic drama, and the ABC Afterschool Special "Private Affairs,” which he directed and wrote. The Association of Women in Film and Television selected the program, dealing with sexually transmitted diseases, as the Best Children’s Drama of the Year. He wrote The Doctor Corps, a feature film for Twentieth Century Fox; "Outreach,” a pilot for the WB Network, which he also produced; "The Edge,” a pilot for CBS; and "The Beast,” a pilot for NBC. He is presently writing and producing a pilot for AMC on the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Baer graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. He received the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Scholarship from the American Medical Association as the most outstanding medical student who has contributed to promoting a better understanding of medicine in the media. The American Association for the Advancement of Science selected him as a Mass Media Fellow.

Dr. Baer lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Gerrie Smith, and his son Caleb, who is currently attending Williams College.

Amy Brenneman

amy_brenneman.jpgAmy Brenneman is perhaps best known for her portrayal of a juvenile court judge and divorced mother on the hit drama JUDGING AMY. A 1987 graduate of Harvard University, Amy Brenneman has proved to be a versatile performer, handling both dramatic and comedic roles. Brenneman played Janice Licalsi on the successful police drama N.Y.P.D. BLUE, garnering her two Emmy Award nominations. After leaving N.Y.P.D. BLUE, Brenneman appeared in a number of films, including CASPER, HEAT, FEAR, DAYLIGHT, and NEVADA. She had a brief recurring role on FRASIER in its 1998–1999 season. Brenneman has won several awards for her work on JUDGING AMY, including a People's Choice Award, and was also nominated three times for an Emmy in 2000, 2001, and 2002. After more than 130 episodes, JUDGING AMY finished its long run in 2005. It is still being shown in syndication. Her current starring role is in ABC's prime-time drama PRIVATE PRACTICE.

Amy is married to director Bradley Silberling. They have a daughter named Charlotte and a son named Bodhi Russell.

Carlton Cuse

carlton_cuse.jpgCarlton Cuse grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and Orange County, California. He attended Harvard University, graduating with a degree in American History. He started his career in feature films working first as a development executive then formed a partnership with feature writer, Jeffrey Boam. Working with Boam, Cuse developed the films LETHAL WEAPON 2, LETHAL WEAPON 3 and INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. In television Cuse began his writing career on the Michael Mann series CRIME STORY. He co-created and executive produced the critically acclaimed Fox series THE ADVENTURES OF BRISCO COUNTY, Jr. He created and executive produced all six seasons of the CBS show NASH BRIDGES starring Don Johnson. He also created and executive produced the CBS series MARTIAL LAW. Most recently, Cuse, in partnership with Damon Lindelof, served as the showrunner, executive producer and head writer, for all six seasons of LOST on ABC. In addition to overseeing the network show, Cuse and Lindelof pioneered the development of transmedia content for network television series. Cuse has received ten Emmy Nominations for his work and has won two Emmys: one for Best Drama Series and the other for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Media. Among his other honors Cuse has won a Peabody Award, a Golden Globe, the Jules Verne Award, four Saturn Awards, and a Writers Guild Award. Earlier this year Cuse was named to Time Magazines 2010 List of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Lucy Fisher

LucyFisher.jpgLucy Fisher is an award-winning motion picture producer and the former Vice Chairman of the Columbia Tri-Star Motion Picture Group. She is partnered with Oscar®-winning producer Douglas Wick as co-head of Red Wagon Entertainment and has worked with some of the most accomplished filmmakers in the world. Lucy has produced a wide range of movies -- from the sleeper hit RV, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, to MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, directed by Rob Marshall, and Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes' JARHEAD, starring Jamie Foxx and Jake Gyllenhaal. NAILED, directed by David O. Russell and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Biel.

Fisher served as vice chairman at Sony Pictures from 1996-2000. During her tenure, the studio broke all-time industry records for biggest domestic and worldwide gross in history with films she supervised, which included MEN IN BLACK, MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING, AIR FORCE ONE, JERRY MAGUIRE, ZORRO, AS GOOD AS IT GEST, and STUART LITTLE.

After leaving the executive suite in 2001, Fisher’s first producing effort with Wick was STUART LITTLE 2, which reunited the original creative team and cast from the blockbuster STUART LITTLE.

Before moving to Sony, Fisher served 14 years as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Production at Warner Bros. There, she developed and supervised a diverse range of commercially successful, critically acclaimed films, including THE FUGITIVE, THE COLOR PURPLE, GREMLINS, THE GOONIES, MALCOLM X, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, SPACE JAM, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, THE OUTSIDERS, THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK, and THE SECRET GARDEN. She also shepherded the pickup of Michael Moore’s debut, ROGER AND ME. Fisher began her career as a reader at United Artists. She then served as vice president of production at Twentieth Century Fox before being named Head of Worldwide Production for Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios.

Lisa Henson

headshot_lisa_henson.jpgLisa Henson is Co-Chief Executive Officer of The Jim Henson Company where she oversees all television and feature film production from early development through post-production.

For The Jim Henson Company, Henson has produced the feature films "Five Children and It," "MirrorMask" and "Good Boy." Features in current development include Edward Gorey's "Doubtful Guest," Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere," "Power of the Dark Crystal" and "Fraggle Rock." Television credits include "Muppets' Wizard of Oz" for ABC, the animated series "Frances” and the direct-to-DVD animated series "Unstable Fables," a collection of feature-length irreverent retellings of popular fairy tales to be released by The Weinstein Company. Ms. Henson is currently Executive Producing 40 episodes of the preschool animated series "Sid the Science Kid” scheduled to premiere on PBS in September of 2008 and brought to life using the Company's digital puppeteering system. She is also producing "The Skrumps," the Company's new animated production featured exclusively at Yahoo! Kids.

As an independent producer, Ms. Henson produced feature films including "High Crimes" and "Zero Effect." Prior to producing, Ms. Henson was President of Columbia Pictures, in charge of all creative business affairs, administrative and production-related matters for the company. Prior to joining Columbia Pictures, Ms. Henson served 10 years as an executive at Warner Bros., working on such blockbusters as "Lethal Weapon" and "Batman."

Ms. Henson graduated in 1983 with a degree in folklore and mythology from Harvard University, where she was the first female President of "The Harvard Lampoon." She has previously served on the Board of Overseers for Harvard University, Tibet House and The Jim Henson Foundation for Puppetry.

Reginald Hudlin

Hudlin.jpgReginald Hudlin is unique in the entertainment business because of his success as a writer, producer, director and executive.

Hudlin is a pioneer of the modern black film movement, creating movies like HOUSE PARTY, BOOMERANG and BEBE’S KIDS, which are some of the most profitable and influential films of his generation. He is the executive producer and writer of the upcoming BLACK PANTHER animated series starring Djimon Hounsou, and was executive producer of THE BOONDOCKS. Hudlin also directed the pilot of the hit series EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS and was a producer and director of THE BERNIE MAC SHOW.

During his more than three year tenure as the first President of Entertainment for Black Entertainment Television, Hudlin created 17 of the top 20 rated shows in the history of the network including the award-winning KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS; AMERICAN GANGSTER; and SUNDAY BEST. Under Hudlin’s stewardship, BET had its first ever telethon, which supported Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. He created the BET HIP HOP AWARDS and the BET HONORS - two successful network franchises. He created a profitable home entertainment division for the network and completely rebuilt the news division, which went on to win 13 awards in two years.

Hudlin has directed episodes of MODERN FAMILY, THE OFFICE, THE MIDDLE, PSYCH, OUTSOURCED and FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS. He recently produced and directed the pilot BURR & HART for Comedy Central and is currently developing another pilot with the network.

A lifetime comic book reader with over 50,000 books in his collection, one of Reginald’s dreams came true four years ago when be became the full time writer for BLACK PANTHER comic book series for Marvel Comics. He continued writing the series while working as an executive for BET, turning in a 22 page monthly book for over three years. BLACK PANTHER is the most successful black super hero series ever, which led to Hudlin writing an award winning run of SPIDER MAN, Marvel’s flagship character.

He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Chrisette, daughter Helena and son Alexander.

Robert Kraft

Kraft.jpgRobert Kraft is an award-winning songwriter, film composer, recording artist and record producer. As President of Fox Music from 1994 to 2012, Kraft was the Executive in Charge of Music for more than 300 Fox feature films, as well as dozens of TV shows. Highlights during his tenure at Fox include the record-breaking scores and soundtracks from Titanic, Moulin Rouge, Waiting To Exhale, Garden State, Walk The Line, Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, and Once.

Kraft has earned Academy Award, Grammy Award, and two Golden Globes nominations for co-composing the song “Beautiful Maria of My Soul” from The Mambo Kings and “How Can I Not Love You” from Anna and the King.

In 1989, Kraft co-produced all of the Oscar- and Grammy Award-winning songs from The Little Mermaid. Hudson Hawk (1991), starring Bruce Willis, was based on his song “Hudson Hawk.”

In 2013, Kraft started Kraftbox Entertainment, with projects currently in production across several platforms, including the feature film Sugar Hill at Warner Bros Studios, the independent film SCORE! The Film Music DocumentaryThe Lion, an Off-Broadway musical, and the solo debut of trumpeter, singer and songwriter Spencer Ludwig on Warner Bros Records

Dan Lin

Lin.jpgDan is the CEO of Lin Pictures, a next-generation production company with a deal at Warner Bros. in both film and television. Its offices are based at the Bricksburg Chamber of Commerce in Hollywood, CA.

Since his company's formation in 2008, Lin has produced films that have grossed over $2.0 billion in worldwide box office sales. He most recently produced the blockbuster "The LEGO Batman Movie," starring Will Arnett.  He is currently in production on "The LEGO Ninjago Movie" (September 2017 release), and "The LEGO Movie Sequel" (February 2019 release).

In the live-action arena, he is in post-production on the films “Death Note” with director Adam Wingard and Stephen King’s “IT” with director Andy Muschietti.

On the television side, he is producing the WBTV shows “Lethal Weapon” for Fox and “Frequency” for the CW.

Prior to forming Lin Pictures, Lin served as Senior Vice President of Production for Warner Bros. Pictures. During his eight-year tenure at the studio, from 1999 to 2007, he oversaw the development and production of such films as Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-winning drama "The Departed"; "10,000 BC," directed by Roland Emmerich; "The Aviator," directed by Scorsese; and "Alexander," directed by Oliver Stone.

Lin serves on the Board of Directors for several non-profit organizations - the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment; Pepperdine University's Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture; and the I Dream of Fish Foundation. He is also a mentor for both the Producer's Guild of America and the Center for Asian American Media. In 2015, he joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1999.

Jeff MelvoinMelvoin.jpg

Emmy-award winner Jeff Melvoin has worked on over a dozen one-hour television series, most recently as Executive Producer on the BBC America series, KILLING EVE. Prior writer-producer credits include DESIGNATED SURVIVOR, ARMY WIVES, ALIAS, EARLY EDITION, PICKET FENCES, NORTHERN EXPOSURE, HILL STREET BLUES, and REMINGTON STEELE. Awards include an Emmy, two Golden Globes, a Television Critics Association award, a Peoples’ Choice award, and a Mystery Writers of America award.

A graduate of Harvard University, Jeff worked as a Time magazine correspondent before entering the television industry. A past board member of the Writers Guild of America, in 2004 Jeff co-authored a WGA booklet, Writing for Episodic TV. In 2005, he proposed the creation of the WGA Show Runner Training Program and has moderated the program since its inception in 2006. He has taught screenwriting at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and UCLA and was a Visiting Lecturer in Dramatic Arts at Harvard in 2008. He and his wife, Martha Hartnett Melvoin, live in Los Angeles and have two sons, Nick and Charlie.

Keri Putnam

image.pngKeri Putnam is the Executive Director of Sundance Institute, where she oversees the annual Sundance Film Festival, as well as the Institute Labs, grants, mentorships, smaller festivals, public events, and workshops offered year-round and globally. Before joining the Institute, Putnam served as President of Production for Miramax Films, where she was responsible for production, acquisitions, co-production and development. During her tenure, Miramax Films won and was nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including the Best Picture Academy Award for the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men, and acting awards for Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will be Blood, Stephen Frears’ The Queen, and Ben Affleck's Gone Baby Gone. Prior to joining Miramax in 2006, Putnam was Executive Vice President of HBO Films, responsible for the development and production of films for both the cable network and theatrical release. Putnam supervised more than 50 HBO films and mini-series and was responsible for some of the division's most successful projects. A graduate of Harvard University, Putnam began her career working in regional theater. She serves on the board of Women in Film Los Angeles, the advisory Board of 826LA, the advisory council of the Feirstein Film School at Brooklyn College, contributes as an advisor to Harvard's Office of the Arts, and as a mentor at the Stark Producing Program at USC.

Jeff Sagansky

Jeff_Sagansky_-_Black_and_White.jpgJeff Sagansky has a career encompassing over 25 years in senior positions in the television, entertainment and motion picture businesses. He is a lead investor in Content PLC, an AIM listed movie and video distribution company, Peace Arch Entertainment, an AMEX listed film and television production company and Blueprint Entertainment, a private television production company based in Toronto. He is Chairman of Winchester Film Capital, a private motion picture financing company and Elm Tree Capital, a casino development company.

Mr. Sagansky served as President and CEO of Paxson Communications Corporation (PAX-TV) from the launch of the network in l998 through December 2002. Under his leadership, PAX-TV developed into the highest rated family friendly television network with distribution growing from 60% of U.S. TV households to almost 90% in only 4 years.

Prior to joining PAX-TV, Mr. Sagansky was Co-President of Sony Pictures Entertainment where he was responsible for Sony Entertainment’s worldwide operations and strategic planning. In this capacity he spearheaded Sony’s acquisition of Telemundo. Previously, Mr. Sagansky was Executive Vice President of Sony Corporation of America from September 1994 to October 1996, where he supervised Sony Theaters, the Sony Theater/Cineplex Odeon Theaters merger, and the highly successful U.S. launch of the Sony Playstation.

Prior to joining Sony, he was CEO of CBS Entertainment, where he engineered CBS’s ratings rise from third to first place in eighteen months. Under his leadership, CBS developed such critically-acclaimed series as The Nanny, Dr, Quinn, Medicine Woman, Touched By An Angel, Chicago Hope, Picket Fences and Northern Exposure.

From 1989 to l990 Mr. Sagansky was President of TriStar Pictures and was TriStar’s President of Production from l985 to l989. While at TriStar, he developed and oversaw production of a wide variety of successful films, including Look Who’s Talking, Peggy Sue Got Married, Steel Magnolias, Glory and About Last Night. Before joining TriStar, he was Senior Vice President in charge of Series Programming for NBC Entertainment from l982 to l985. At NBC, he developed hit prime-time series including Family Ties, Cheers, The Cosby Show, Miami Vice and Highway To Heaven; shows that brought that network to the top of the ratings.

Mr. Sagansky received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and his Masters of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. Currently, he serves on the boards of the E.W. Scripps Company, American Media and Permission TV, a privately held internet video services company.

Maiya Williams Verrone

Writer, television producer, and mentor Maiya Williams Verrone '84 cum laude is passionate about using storytelling to instill hope in young people.

Verrone is co-executive producer of the television comedy series The Last O.G. and has extensive writing and producing credits that include The Haunted Hathaways, Futurama, MAD-TV, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

An accomplished author, she has published five novels for middle-grade readers, receiving the Southern California Book Association Award for Best First Novel.

Verrone is dedicated to numerous mentoring efforts, including Write Girl, an organization that empowers young women through self-expression. “It’s gratifying to help young women find, develop, and use their voice.”

Her writing and producing career began at Harvard College, where she produced two plays and was the first Black woman editor of the Harvard Lampoon. Now a trustee of the Lampoon, Verrone is a long-standing Harvard volunteer and alumni interviewer, currently an interview area chair.  She resurrected the Harvard Black Alumni Society’s Los Angeles chapter where she is the current president, and also serves in multiple leadership roles for the Harvard Club of Southern California, including Membership Vice President, Secretary, and Founding Chair of the Anti-Racism Committee.

“The most gratifying aspect of attending Harvard was meeting, being inspired by, and collaborating with the vast array of talented, intellectually curious people. Organizing events for the alumni community has allowed me to witness that same synergy. Extraordinary people from different backgrounds come together, interact, and depart invigorated. I look forward to facilitating more of these connections.”

Calendar Programs Jobs & Career Development