Kerry Washington is an Emmy-award winning, SAG and Golden-Globe nominated actor, director, producer, activist, and NYT beselling author who continues to make and write history. Kerry received recognition for her role as Olivia Pope on the hit ABC drama Scandal, breaking barriers as the first Black woman since 1974 to headline a network TV drama. Washington has also starred in more than 30 film and TV projects including, The School for Good and Evil, The Prom, Confirmation, Django Unchained, Ray, The Last King of Scotland, Save the Last Dance, Lift, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Our Song.
During the Obama administration, Washington was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. There, she helped spearhead the Study on Arts Education, an initiative to expand arts access in schools; Film Forward, a partnership with the Sundance Film Festival; The National Student Poets Program; and Turnaround Arts at The Kennedy Center. She currently serves on President Biden’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and Americans for the Arts’ Artist Committee.
In 2016, Washington launched her production company, Simpson Street, developing feature, television, digital, theater, and podcast projects, guided by the belief that creative courage is good for the culture. They embrace the broadest scope of humanity through the magic of story and characters. Washington has starred in, as well as executive produced projects such as Little Fires Everywhere and Unprisoned. In addition, she produced the Broadway show and Netflix adaptation of American Son as well as the documentary THE FIGHT. Washington earned her first Emmy award serving as a producer on ABC’s Live In Front of A Studio Audience alongside Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel.
Washington made her debut as an author in 2023 with the publication of her memoir, Thicker than Water, which shares an intimate view into her private and public worlds as an artist, advocate, entrepreneur, mother, daughter, wife, and Black woman.
Washington has been honored as one of TIME Magazine’s 2022 Women of The Year, in addition to appearing on the magazine’s 2014 Most Influential People list. She has also been honored with the NAACP President’s Award, the GLAAD Media Vanguard Award, and ACLU Bill of Rights Award. In 2022, Washington partnered with LAUSD and a coalition of industry leaders and actors to launch The Roybal School of Film and Television Production, a magnet school aiming to drive transformational change across the entertainment industry for students from underserved communities.