American Documentary Appoints Erika Dilday As Executive Director

Erika Dilday
Edward Wilkey

Erika Dilday will join American Documentary, Inc. as executive director.

Dilday, who succeeds Justine Nagain, will be the company’s first Black executive director. The AmDoc board of director announced on Tuesday that Dilday will begin her duties as executive director in May.

As executive director Dilday will oversee all aspects of AmDocs programs and operations, including production and programming, community engagement and education, digital strategy, development, business affairs, communications and overall management of the POV series on PBS. She will also serve as executive producer of America ReFramed, the company’s year-round showcase of independent documentaries featuring contemporary American stories that airs on the World Channel.

Coming to AmDoc from Futuro Media Group, where she served as CEO since 2017, Dilday has years of executive documentary work under her belt. Prior to Futuro Media Group, Dilday was the executive director of Maysles Documentary Center where she oversaw community cinema and filmmaking programs and produced Albert Maysles’ final film In Transit, which took home the best documentary feature prize at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

A producer, journalist and media executive, Dilday has held strategic planning and financial management roles at The New York Times, National Geographic Television and CBS. Throughout her career, Dilday brought stories about marginalized communities to the forefront, encouraging dialogue and social action. Under her leadership, Futuro expanded its audio documentary storytelling to include long-form series and investigative specials as well as an innovative program that provides community voices with the platform to tell their own stories.

Dilday graduated from Harvard College, the Columbia School of Journalism and Columbia Business School. In 2020 she was a Knight Nieman fellow at Harvard University where she authored a piece for the Nieman Reports on authentic journalism in communities of color. Her latest documentary production project is Civil War from director-producer Rachel Boynton. Dilday is a 2016 recipient of the Columbia Journalism School Alumni Award and a 2017 National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Fellow.

“Ensuring that diverse voices and authentic narratives are centered as part of the public media landscape was a major reason I pursued a career in this industry in the first place. American Documentary is a place that has, since its founding nearly 35 years ago, elevated these stories. I’m thrilled to be joining an incredible team of creative professionals who passionately pursue the organization’s mission. I can’t think of a better place to call home,” said Dilday.

“It was clear to the Board that Erika’s experience and commitment to independent voices were the perfect fit for AmDoc at this time. She’s a visionary and we believe that, as Executive Director, she will be a tremendous asset to the organization going forward,” said Margaret Drain, Chair of AmDoc’s Board of Directors.

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