BAFTA’s Los Angeles chapter has appointed Chantal Rickards as the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer. Rickards’ takes up her post on April 14 after relocating from London to LA. She will report to the BAFTA LA Board of Directors. The move to elect an LA CEO comes at a time when British film and television are on a high and British talent is flourishing. Notably, Rickards is a former TV exec who spent the last 27 years in senior positions in channel management and production.

Most recently, the exec was Head of Programming and Branded Content at MEC, a division of Group M. Prior to that, she was Commissioning Executive at the BBC where she was responsible for launching and overseeing original programming for the UKTV lifestyle television channels. Her TV credits include the international formats for Masterchef, Countdown and Through The Keyhole.

BAFTA LA was founded in 1987 to serve as a bridge between the Hollywood and British production and entertainment industries. Among its initiatives are a community outreach program, screenings, seminars, Q&As, scholarships for British students studying in the U.S., a Newcomers Program for emerging British talents working Stateside and the annual Britannia Awards.

“BAFTA Los Angeles is in a growth period, expanding its operations and programs, and putting exciting new plans in place to become the hub of the British creative community in Los Angeles. We are delighted to welcome Chantal, whose experience and vision will be invaluable in driving these plans forward alongside Director of Operations, Matthew Wiseman and existing team members Wayne Watkins, Lisa Ogdie, Ciaran Toner, Rosalyn Hummel and Pete Modeste. I would also like to thank Donald Haber who will be retiring in May after 18 years of outstanding service to BAFTA Los Angeles,” said Kieran Breen, Chairman of BAFTA LA.