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Oscar award-winning actress, Geena Davis is best known for her roles in Thelma and Louise, Beetlejuice, and the ABC series Commander in Chief, which featured her in the first-ever media portrayal of a female U.S. president. Off screen Geena has used her genius and celebrity to make a difference in the lives of women, children, and minorities by advocating equal and more realistic representation of genders and minorities in the media and entertainment industry.

After graduating from Boston College with a BA in drama, Davis moved to New York to pursue an acting career. During the early years she waited tables and worked as a sales clerk, eventually being promoted to Saturday window mannequin; consequently a modeling agency noticed her and gave her a contract, which led to her appearing in various catalogues. Due to her look, Sydney Pollack cast her alongside Dustin Hoffman in the acclaimed comedy Tootsie, launching a career that has spanned more than three decades and cemented Davis as one of Hollywood’s most respected actresses.

In 2004 while watching children’s television programs with her then three-year-old daughter, Davis was disturbed by the unequal ratio of male to female characters as well as the stereotypes that female characters were frequently confined to. She collaborated with the University of Southern California to sponsor the largest study ever conducted on gender in children’s entertainment and has since created the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Currently she heads the organization’s efforts to engage, educate, and influence the need to dramatically improve gender balance, reduce stereotyping, and create diverse female characters in entertainment that targets children ages 11 and under.

Full Profile

    Academy Award winner Geena Davis is one of Hollywood′s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks. Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series—Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC′s hit show Commander in Chief.


    In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan′s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance as Thelma in Ridley Scott′s Thelma and Louise, in which she co-starred with Susan Sarandon.


    Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of baseball phenomenon Dottie Hinson in A League of Their Own.


    Davis made her feature film debut starring opposite Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. She went on to star in such films as The Fly, Beetlejuice, Earth Girls are Easy, Angie, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Stuart Little.


    Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an Oscar and Golden Globe winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation′s 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa and is becoming recognized for her tireless advocacy of women and girls nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the founder of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and its programming arm See Jane, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters—and reduce gender stereotyping—in media made for children 11 and under.


    Davis is also a former trustee of the Women′s Sports Foundation, serves on the Board of the White House Project, is an appointee to the California Commission on the Status of Women and is an official partner of UN Women in their effort to change the way media represents women and girls worldwide.


    Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.


Geena Davis Speaker Videos Back to top

Keynote Speech


“For every one female character there are three male characters.” Geena Davis shares how watching children’s programming and movies with her young daughter lead her to finance the largest research project in gender roles in children’s entertainment and what that project revealed about the stereotyping of females in media today. “In G-rated animated movies the female characters wear the same amount of sexually revealing clothing as the female characters in R-rated movies,” she reports. “Also in animated films...often the female character’s waist is so tiny, that you have to wonder, could you fit a spinal column in there? And one of the most common occupations for female characters in animated movies is royalty, which is a nice gig if you can get it.”

Keynote Speech to Students


Keynote Speech



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Graceful and charming, Geena Davis delivers a powerful message with wit and wisdom. A Hollywood veteran, Mensa genius, and Olympic trial finalist in archery, Davis empowers girls and women with her own personal stories of success in fields that have been traditionally dominated by men.

From the Olympics to the Presidency -- Anything is Possible
Playing U.S. President Mackenzie Allen in the critically acclaimed ABC series Commander in Chief was more than a television role for Geena Davis, one of the world’s best-known actors. An Academy Award-winner, film producer, accomplished athlete and role model, she truly believes that, with determination and focus, women can achieve virtually anything they set out to accomplish. She empowers audiences with her moving personal stories of how she broke into acting and her success at the highest levels in the traditionally male-dominated fields of Olympic archery and film production.

Geena Takes Aim--Empowering Our Daughters and Ourselves
Using her skills as an archer—she ranked 13th in the U.S. in 2001—as a metaphor for achievement in life, Geena Davis shares her risk-taking, entrepreneurial spirit that has led her to the pinnacles of success as an actor and producer as well as a gifted athlete. She inspires audiences with her message of overcoming obstacles to success in athletes, in the arts and in life itself.





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From the Olympics to the Presidency -- Anything is Possible
Playing U.S. President Mackenzie Allen in the critically acclaimed ABC series Commander in Chief was more than a television role for Geena Davis, one of the world’s best-known actors. An Academy Award-winner, film producer, accomplished athlete and role model, she truly believes that, with determination and focus, women can achieve virtually anything they set out to accomplish. She empowers audiences with her moving personal stories of how she broke into acting and her success at the highest levels in the traditionally male-dominated fields of Olympic archery and film production.

Geena Takes Aim--Empowering Our Daughters and Ourselves
Using her skills as an archer—she ranked 13th in the U.S. in 2001—as a metaphor for achievement in life, Geena Davis shares her risk-taking, entrepreneurial spirit that has led her to the pinnacles of success as an actor and producer as well as a gifted athlete. She inspires audiences with her message of overcoming obstacles to success in athletes, in the arts and in life itself.


Keynote Speech


“For every one female character there are three male characters.” Geena Davis shares how watching children’s programming and movies with her young daughter lead her to finance the largest research project in gender roles in children’s entertainment and what that project revealed about the stereotyping of females in media today. “In G-rated animated movies the female characters wear the same amount of sexually revealing clothing as the female characters in R-rated movies,” she reports. “Also in animated films...often the female character’s waist is so tiny, that you have to wonder, could you fit a spinal column in there? And one of the most common occupations for female characters in animated movies is royalty, which is a nice gig if you can get it.”

Keynote Speech to Students


Keynote Speech