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Victoria Riskin to Lead Antioch University Santa Barbara’s Trustees

Hollywood writer producer will chair school's newly formed board of 15.

Victoria Riskin, an acclaimed television and film writer-producer and past president of the Writers Guild of America West, will serve as the inaugural chairwoman of Antioch University Santa Barbara’s newly formed board of trustees, AUSB president Michael Mulnix said Monday.

“We will rely on our board of trustees for their expertise and insight on how we operate our campus,” Mulnix said. “Having Dr. Riskin lead this new board is a tremendous honor. Her leadership will ensure that we maintain high standards of excellence in our existing and new programs, a multicultural and global perspective, new delivery systems, and expansion into the arts, politics and new media.”

Riskin said she is honored to lead the new board that will comprise up to 15 individuals from Santa Barbara. The board will provide governance, management oversight, and philanthropic advancement for the campus. AUSB, a private, not-for-profit, fully accredited university, has been in Santa Barbara for 30 years.

“I am honored and pleased to give Antioch any assistance I can to make it the best university it can be and enhance its high-quality programs,” Riskin said. “The undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students make an important contribution to the Santa Barbara community.”

Lillian Lovelace, university governor emerita, will work with Riskin in outreach to the Santa Barbara community in promoting the university and in trustee orientation.  Lovelace is a graduate of Antioch College and AUSB, and was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by Antioch.

In addition to serving as president of the Writers Guild of America West, the labor union representing 10,000 film and television writers, Riskin has been honored as Outstanding Producer of the Year by the Producers Guild of America, won one Emmy and received six Emmy nominations, and received the World Media Award Silver Medal for Screenwriting.

Riskin is past chairwoman of the Writers and Producers Pension and Health Fund, founding chairwoman of Hollywood, Health and Society, past trustee of the American Film Institute and the Museum of Radio and Television, and advisory board member of the Partnership for Public Service.

She was a founding member of Human Rights Watch/California and currently serves as its chairwoman in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. She has lectured on women’s rights and the need to expand human rights principles and laws globally. She also has a long-term interest in Tibetan cultural preservation and has traveled extensively to work in refugee communities in India, Nepal and Tibet. She serves on the International Board of Human Rights Watch, is an adviser to its Asia division, and chairs the Hellman-Hammett Prize Committee aiding writers around the world who have been victims of political persecution. She is a member of the Pacific Council on International Relations, the western partner of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Riskin’s honors include the Chairman’s Award by the Caucus of Writers, Producers and Directors for her leadership role in the creative community’s fight against media concentration; the Justice Rose Bird Person of Courage Award by Death Penalty Focus of California; the Horace Mann Alumna of the Year Award by Antioch University Los Angeles; and the Human Rights-Defender of the First Amendment Award by the ACLU of Southern California. In January, she received the Writers Guild of America West 2009 Valentine Davies Award in recognition of contributions to the entertainment industry and community at large that have brought dignity and honor to writers everywhere.

Riskin holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from USC, a master’s in psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from USC. She lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, award-winning writer and producer David W. Rintels.

Kathy Kramer is communications coordinator at Antioch University Santa Barbara.

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