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Name: Davis, Geena
Current Position: Chair

Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis was elected chair of the Commission on the Status of Women in April 2012, even as Governor Jerry Brown was recommending it be disbanded to save the state $270,000.

A native of Wareham, Massachusetts, Davis attended New England College in New Hampshire before transferring to Boston University where she majored in drama. She graduated from its College of Fine Arts in 1979, moved to New York and while preparing for a career in show business held jobs as a sales clerk, waitress, Saturday window mannequin at Ann Taylor and Victoria Secret model. Davis is a member of the genius society Mensa.

Her first film was Tootsie in 1982 and it was followed by a succession of television roles. Davis was a featured performer in 1988’s Bettlejuice and received an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for The Accidental Tourist in 1989. She co-starred in 1992’s Thelma and Louise and followed up the next year with A League of Their Own about professional women’s baseball in the 1940s.

Although Davis wasn’t an athlete growing up, she took up the sport of archery in 1997 and was one of 32 women to qualify to compete in the 2000 Olympic trials.

In 2004, Davis founded the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which strives to increase the percentages of female characters—and reduce gender stereotyping—in media made for children 11 and under.  

Davis, a Democrat, was appointed to the commission in 2010 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

She is married to Dr. Reza Jarrahy, a plastic surgeon, and has three children, including twins who were born in 2004 when she was 48 years old.


Actress Geena Davis to Lead California Women's Commission (by Torey Van Oot, Sacramento Bee)

Geena Davis, Chair (Commission website)

Geena Davis Zeros in with Bow and Arrows (by Frank Litsky, New York Times)

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