Anissa Brennan is Senior Vice President of International Affairs and Trade Policy for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Ms. Brennan works with federal government agencies and Congress to reduce foreign trade barriers and improve the protection of intellectual property in foreign markets for the U.S. motion picture, television programming and home entertainment industries. Ms. Brennan previously served on the International Trade Advisory Committee for Intellectual Property and is MPAA’s representative to numerous industry associations including the U.S. Chamber’s Global IP Center, the International Intellectual Property Alliance and the Alliance for Fair Trade with India. She currently serves on the Industry Trade Advisory Committee for Services.
Prior to joining MPAA, she worked in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs as the Department’s expert on trade in services, representing the State Department at World Trade Organization and various free trade agreement negotiations. Her other policy portfolios included government procurement, trade capacity building, cultural diversity, and temporary entry. Brennan entered the State Department as a Presidential Management Fellow from the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB). While with ILAB, Brennan focused on the NAFTA’s labor side agreement. She earned her M.A. in International Development with a concentration in Human Rights from the University of Denver and her B.A. from James Madison University.
Neil Fried is Senior Vice President for Federal Advocacy and Regulatory Affairs at the Motion Picture Association of America. Neil joined the MPAA in 2013 from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he served as chief counsel on media and technology issues. Serving the Committee for nearly a decade, his portfolio included television, radio, wired and wireless communications, spectrum, cybersecurity, broadband, and internet issues.
Prior to his time on the Hill, Neil worked at two D.C. law firms, representing clients before Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. Neil served as an attorney with the FCC from 1996 to 2000, where he helped to implement the 1996 Telecommunications Act. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and his Juris Doctor from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He grew up in New York City.
Marilyn Gordon began at the Motion Picture Association of America 33 years ago in 1985. Marilyn is the Senior Vice President and head of the Advertising Administration, and is responsible for the review of all advertising and publicity materials created for motion pictures submitted for a rating, prior to their use and distribution to the general public. As SVP, she enforces the advertising standards and is held accountable for a fair review of all materials submitted by member companies and independent distributors. Marilyn’s role necessitates the constant monitoring of current events, trends, and sensitivities, and must be in touch with how consumers will react to advertising in the marketplace, especially as directed to children. As appropriate, she formulates new guidelines, in order to protect both the organization’s constituency and the general public. Marilyn reports directly to the Chairman and CEO, Ambassador Charles Rivkin.
Marilyn joined the MPAA as Assistant to the Director of Advertising Administration, and has been promoted many times throughout her MPAA tenure. Prior to joining the MPAA, Marilyn was Circulation Manager for an educational magazine The American School Board Journal in Chicago, Illinois.
Marilyn attended David Myers University in Ohio and majored in marketing; she currently holds Academy of Motion Picture membership, in the Public Relations Branch.
Joan Graves is a Senior Vice President and Chairman of The Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) for the Motion Picture Association of America. She combines her love of parenthood and her love of movies, stewarding a Board of Parents who screen films to give American parents advance information about the content in films to help them make choices for their families. The MPAA’s voluntary movie rating system was established in 1968, and Joan has been involved since 1988, serving as Administrative Director, Vice Chairman, Co-Chairman, and, since 2000, Chairman.
Prior to joining the MPAA, Joan was involved professionally in commercial real estate sales, stock brokerage, and management consulting, as well as taking leadership roles in a volunteer capacity in schools, hospitals and art museums.
She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Stanford University.
Suzanne Nall is Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration for the Motion Picture Association of America. Suzanne is responsible for worldwide financial reporting for the MPAA, and has more than 25 years of experience in financial auditing, planning and reporting, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring companies and improving operations. . Prior to joining MPAA, Suzanne was financial controller for Guarda, responsible for the day-to-day worldwide financial operations and reporting.
Suzanne received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting from California State University, Northridge. Suzanne is also a CPA.
Edward B. Neubronner is the Senior Vice President, Regional Operations, Communications, Corporate Affairs & Administration of the Asia-Pacific Region for the Motion Picture Association International. In this role, his primary responsibility is to oversee the efficient allocation of financial and staffing resources to run effective operations that promote and protect the creative and commercial interests of the MPA Studios across the region. He also has overall supervision of country programs, strategic alliance building initiatives, communications and outreach, research, finance, corporate compliance, human resource and capacity building.
Edward has previously served as the Regional Legal Counsel for the association, during which time he leveraged his extensive background in intellectual property management and law enforcement by directing civil and criminal enforcement initiatives while working with government bodies to amend copyright laws in various countries.
He also served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Recording Industry Association (Singapore), positioning that group as the pre-eminent industry organization on copyright matters and launching an educational curriculum that is still taught in every secondary and junior college in the country today. He began his career in government service, first as a police officer and then as an assistant registrar in the Intellectual Property Office.
A graduate of the National University of Singapore, Edward is a qualified Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore.
Wendy Noss is the President of the Motion Picture Association-Canada and leads government relations, policy development, and advocacy on behalf of the MPAA studios and their domestic affiliates. Wendy has been with the association since 2006, creating strategic alliances to further the health of the film and television industry and foster an environment of respect for the creative industries in Canada.
Wendy is a respected government and public affairs executive with more than two decades of experience representing creative industries and intellectual property owners. Prior to joining the MPA, she was a practicing lawyer focusing on intellectual property law and policy, and in advancing the rights of international rights holders in the digital environment. She previously acted as Counsel and Director of Government Affairs for the national copyright collective, representing authors and publishers.
Wendy received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Western University and her J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian American Business Council, works as an effective partner with film and television stakeholders across the country, and has been selected as a trusted advisor to serve on various government boards, councils, advisory groups and organizations.
Dan Robbins serves as Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel. He is responsible for MPAA’s content security working group, global competition and anti-corruption compliance, and legal technology issues. Dan also serves as the regional general counsel for Latin America and is deeply involved in MPAA’s work in China.
Dan is a widely recognized antitrust expert. He helped the MPAA studios create the joint venture that launched the DVD in 1996 and helped form MovieLabs, an MPAA member company R&D joint venture, where he has served as general counsel since 2005.
Since 2007, Dan has been a California gubernatorial appointee to the Uniform Law Commission (ULC), a non-partisan law reform entity that has drafted some of the nation’s most successful laws, such as the Uniform Commercial Code. He has served on the ULC’s board since 2015. In 2016 he was elected to the American Law Institute, a highly respected private law reform entity.
Before joining MPAA, Dan worked at the law firms of Graham & James and Pepper Hamilton, where he specialized in antitrust and intellectual property. He earned an economics degree from Vanderbilt University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from UCLA.
Jane Saunders is the Managing Director and Senior Vice President, Rights Management Policy, for the Motion Picture Association of America. She is an expert in collective and compulsory licensing systems worldwide as well as the functioning and procedures of collective management organizations, with over 23 years of experience in this area. Jane leads the MPAA’s Rights Management department and has responsibility for the U.S. and Canadian compulsory retransmission royalty programs of MPAA and the Copyright Collective of Canada, as well as for engagement with and outreach to collective management organizations worldwide. She provides policy and tactical advice to the Association’s policy and legal operations around the world on strategies for limiting statutory collective and compulsory licensing regimes. At the same time, she supports MPAA Members’ claims to a fair share of the remuneration collected in respect of their works where such regimes are imposed by law.
Prior to joining MPAA in 1995, Jane was an attorney in private practice in Washington DC and Atlanta, GA, representing clients in copyright royalty litigation, bankruptcy litigation, and commercial transactional matters.
Jane received a J.D. at Emory University School of Law and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College inShe is fluent in French and Spanish and has working proficiency in German and Italian.
Ben Sheffner is Senior Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Copyright & Legal Affairs, at the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., where he specializes in copyright and other intellectual property policy and runs the MPAA’s amicus brief program. Ben also serves as counsel to the MPAA Title Registration Bureau and manages the association’s trademark portfolio. Prior to joining the MPAA in 2011, Ben held in-house legal positions at NBCUniversal and Twentieth Century Fox, and worked as an associate in the Century City office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he litigated copyright and other cases for major movie studios, television networks, and record labels. In 2008, Ben served as Special Counsel on Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign, where, among other responsibilities, he handled the campaign’s copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property issues. Ben served as a law clerk for the Hon. M. Margaret McKeown on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 2000-2001.
Ben is a Trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA as well as the Los Angeles Copyright Society, and serves as an Adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, Copyright project, and as a participant on the Uniform Law Commission committee drafting a uniform anti-SLAPP statute.
Prior to attending law school, Ben worked as a political reporter in Washington, DC for the Cook Political Report and Roll Call newspaper, where he covered congressional elections, the term limits movement, campaign finance reform, and various other issues related to Congress’ internal politics and administration. Ben received an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).
Vans Steverson is responsible for the MPAA’s state and local government affairs department, which represents member companies before state and local government legislative, executive and regulatory offices. He also manages the member companies’ interests on all production, facilities and labor issues. Stevenson is responsible for issues and matters that include proposed legislation, rules and regulations that affect motion picture, television and home entertainment distribution, production and business practices of MPAA member companies, including all tax issues, and the MPAA-administered Motion Picture Rating System in all 50 states, four U.S. territories and at the local level. He joined MPAA in 1989.
Since 1978, he has been a public relations, marketing, business, and government affairs executive in the media business. Prior to joining MPAA, he was vice president of corporate affairs for Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation, responsible for financial and stock market relations as well as federal and state government affairs. Prior to Blockbuster, he was director of public affairs and corporate projects for Erol’s, a 200 video store chain that was acquired by Blockbuster.
He holds a B.S. degree, cum laude, in journalism from Ohio University and has completed post-graduate studies at New York University and the University of Cincinnati, in public affairs, marketing, business finance and strategic planning.
In her role as Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at the Motion Picture Association of America, Karen Thorland manages domestic content protection civil litigation and oversees the Association’s global voluntary initiatives and civil litigation efforts. Thorland managed successful litigations against the peer-to-peer website isoHunt, the cyberlocker Hotfile, and two rings of unauthorized streaming sites (MovieTube and Pubfilm), as well as the ongoing litigation against Megaupload and its operator Kim Dotcom. She also is engaged in the development of the Association’s global policies and strategies related to content protection and provides legal support for the content protection department, including for criminal referrals.
Thorland came to the MPAA from her partnership at Loeb & Loeb, LLP, which she joined in 2001. She has deep experience in a broad range of litigation and intellectual property matters, including copyright and trademark, rights of publicity and privacy, First Amendment, entertainment contractual disputes, and appeals. While at Loeb & Loeb, Thorland was the co-lead counsel for the MPAA member companies in a national litigation campaign related to peer-to-peer file-sharing. Prior to joining Loeb & Loeb LLP, Thorland was an associate at Jones Day from 1994 to 2001, where she worked on large-scale commercial litigation and intellectual property matters.
She is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law and the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she graduated with Highest Honors, College Honors, and Distinction in Major. Thorland currently serves on the UCLA School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Biography coming soon.