Disney and Universal Take Part in MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law and Policy Fellowship for Advancing Diversity in Industry

MPA and EICOP Now Accepting Applications for 2024 Fellowship

October 10, 2023

WASHINGTON – The Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP) today announced this year’s MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law and Policy Fellows’ studio placements.

Alberto Lugo is a 2022 graduate from UCLA School of Law, where he received a JD in Media, Entertainment, & Technology Law and Policy and Critical Race Studies. Lugo will join Disney as an MPA-EICOP Fellow. Samantha Wauls is a 2022 graduate from University of New Mexico School of Law. Wauls is a first-generation college graduate and will join Universal as an MPA-EICOP Fellow.

While in law school, Lugo was active in the Latinx Law Students’ Association and the Mexican-American Bar Association of Los Angeles County. Wauls has worked with Indigenous communities, both as a crime victim advocate focusing on the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives and as a teacher in her tribal community.

“The MPA is pleased that Disney and Universal, two of our member studios, are participating in this year’s MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law & Policy Fellowship,” said Karyn Temple, MPA Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel. “Alberto and Samantha have been invaluable to the MPA team over the last six months, and I am confident that they will continue to grow during their studio placements. We look forward to seeing all they will do in our industry in the future. Thank you also to EICOP for their partnership on this fellowship and ensuring its success.”

“Our fellowship program creates opportunities for the next generation of entertainment legal and policy leaders,” said Gail MacKinnon, MPA Senior Executive Vice President for Global Policy and Government Affairs. “I continue to be impressed by their passion for our advocacy work and their commitment to ensuring diversity throughout our industry. I know Alberto and Samantha will continue to do great things at Disney and NBCUniversal, and beyond.”

This is the second cohort of the MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law and Policy Fellowship program. This first-of-its-kind fellowship offers unique opportunities in the entertainment industry for recent graduates committed to diversifying the film, television, and streaming industry. Over the course of a year, fellows spend six months at the MPA before joining one of the association’s six member studios for the remainder of the year. Additionally, throughout the program, each fellow is paired with an industry mentor, attends networking events hosted by industry partners, participates in industry workshops and conferences, visits member studios and meets with entertainment executives.

“The Walt Disney Company is delighted to participate in the MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law & Policy Fellowship program,” said Horacio Gutierrez, The Walt Disney Company’s Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer. “This fellowship builds on our longstanding commitment to empower the next generation, including those from historically underrepresented communities. We look forward to welcoming Alberto to the Disney team.”

“This fellowship program opens up pathways to broaden opportunities for representation across the NBCUniversal portfolio, and we look forward to growing our partnerships with the MPA and EICOP,” said Christopher Miller, General Counsel, NBCUniversal Studio Group.  “As a fellow at Universal, Samantha will have unparalleled experiences in entertainment law and policy and I’m excited for our teams to work with her as she advances in her career.”

The MPA and EICOP also today announced the launch of the Entertainment Law and Policy Fellowship 2024 application period. Qualified applicants are recent graduates who earned a legal, public policy, or related advanced degree. Prospective applicants must have an interest in entertainment policy and entertainment law. They must also demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the entertainment industry. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply. Fellowship decisions are made without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, age, disability status, or any other protected characteristic.

“This fellowship program is an important addition to EICOP’s work to diversify the Hollywood pipeline,” said Stacy Milner, President & CEO of EICOP. “Thank you to the MPA for your partnership in this effort. We’re very excited for Alberto and Samantha to join the teams at Disney and Universal, which have been incredible partners to EICOP. We’re also looking forward to building on the success of this program in year three. I encourage all qualified candidates to apply for this one-of-a-kind opportunity.”

To learn more about the MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law and Policy Fellowship, and apply for the 2024-25 program, click here.

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About The Motion Picture Association
The Motion Picture Association, Inc. (MPA) serves as the global voice and advocate of the motion picture, home video, and television industries. It works in every corner of the globe to advance the creative industry, protect its members’ content across all screens, defend the creative and artistic freedoms of storytellers, and support innovative distribution models that bring an expansion of viewing choices to audiences around the world.

The MPA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative supports over 50 educational, multicultural, and civil rights institutions.

The association’s member studios are Netflix Studios, LLC; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Universal City Studios LLC; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. Charles Rivkin is MPA’s Chairman and CEO.

About The Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program
The Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational arts workforce development program, dedicated to educating, training, and recruiting the best and brightest diverse student leaders from our nation’s HBCUs and other Predominately Minority Institutions for careers across all aspects of the entertainment, media, sports, music, and technology industries. Its signature program, HBCU in LA, was launched in partnership with then-President Obama’s White House Initiative on HBCUs.

Since its launch, the MPA has served as an important partner in creating access for students with a demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity in the industry to participate in this important pipeline development initiative. The MPA and its six member studios are all existing partners of EICOP and its programs.

MPA Media Contact
John Mercurio

EICOP Media Contacts
Sam Srinivasan

Troi Ratchford