Executive Director of Communications
UCLA School of Law
LOS ANGELES, CA, June 29, 2015 – Susan Akens, previously executive vice president, business affairs, at CBS Studios International, has been appointed executive director of UCLA School of Law’s Entertainment, Media, and Intellectual Property Law Program. She will join the law school on July 1st, where she will teach and lead the program’s initiatives. She replaces David R. Ginsburg who retired in June.
"We are thrilled to welcome Sue Akens to our law school," Dean Rachel F. Moran said. "Her extensive entertainment and legal experience will be invaluable in furthering the work of the program and in helping to grow and expand its offerings."
Akens was named executive vice president, business affairs, at Paramount Pictures International Television in 2003, and continued in that role at CBS Studios International in 2006. In this position, she oversaw all international business and legal affairs, set strategy for the division and led a team based in the United States and Europe. She played a key role in the expansion of CBS’s international business into the digital and on-demand arenas.
"Sue is precisely the forward-looking and experienced individual who will take the program to higher levels, building on its sound foundation over the last decade," Ken Ziffren, a partner at Ziffren Brittenham LLP, the chair of the program’s advisory board and an adjunct faculty member at UCLA Law, said. "Her blend of legal expertise and international business leadership make her an ideal choice to lead the program’s ongoing development and successfully guide it into the future."
UCLA School of Law Professor Douglas Lichtman, who chaired the executive director search committee, added: "Sue’s enthusiasm, combined with her exceptional management skills and expertise in strategic partnerships, will be invaluable in her role as the program’s next executive director. I am confident that with her at the helm, the program will be poised to have an even greater impact."
Akens joined Paramount Pictures International Television in 1998 as senior vice president, business affairs, concentrating on the areas of sales distribution, production and business development. She previously served as special counsel for the entertainment department of O’Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles, representing clients in a broad variety of entertainment and multimedia transactions.
"It is an honor to join UCLA School of Law’s highly praised Entertainment, Media, and Intellectual Property Law Program," Akens said. "I look forward to working with the entire UCLA Law community to build on the program’s many accomplishments and to assist in training the next generation of entertainment leaders."
Akens holds a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. She received a B.S. degree in Pharmacy, with highest honors, from Rutgers College of Pharmacy at Rutgers University, and she is a registered pharmacist. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, Los Angeles Region and the Women’s Care Cottage.
About UCLA School of Law
Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. With approximately 100 faculty and 1,100 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession. For more information, visit www.law.ucla.edu and follow us on Twitter.