Lisa Rich
Advisory Board Committee Leader

Born and raised in New York City, Lisa Rich was surrounded by family members with strong roots in the entertainment industry. Her mother was supervising producer on two television classics: Dynasty and Charlie’s Angels. Her father was a jazz musician and director. And her grandparents were, as she describes, classic vaudevillians. After studying sociology at the City University of New York, Lisa naturally gravitated West and studied film at UC Berkeley. Upon graduating, Lisa became a staff production manager at Medion, Inc in San Francisco where she worked on various documentaries, commercials, and music films including Last Days of the Fillmore and The Last Waltz.

After relocating to Los Angeles, Lisa joined the DGA as a first assistant director, setting a precedent by becoming the first woman ever to be admitted into the Guild as a first AD without going through DGA training program. Her credits include the Academy Award winning Teenage Father directed by Taylor Hackford, as well as his film, The Idolmaker, Hugo Award nominee The Lathe of Heaven, Chance, and Rainy Day. 

Lisa entered the world of commercials when Academy Award winning cinematographers, Haskell Wexler, ASC and Conrad Hall, ASC, asked her to become Executive Producer of their production company, Wexler-Hall. She spent two years with the company, then she and Wexler moved on to a partnership first with Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC at Cinematic Directions and then with Robert Lieberman at Harmony.

Having worked as a freelance producer on numerous music videos and commercials for companies such as Harmony Pictures, Bedford Falls, and MJZ, Lisa has overseen the work of many high profile directors such as Rocky Morton, Irv Blitz, Steve Ramser, Marcus Stevens, Elma Garcia, Robert Lieberman and Bob Eggers. Lisa became the Executive Producer at MJZ for seven years, winning the Cannes Palme D’Or as well as multiple AICP and Clio awards, relinquishing this position to begin her work at SMUGGLER.

In 2007, Patrick Milling Smith and Brian Carmody asked Lisa to join their international commercial production company, SMUGGLER, as Chief Operating Officer. Since her arrival, SMUGGLER has proceeded to win the prestigious Cannes Palme D’Or. Lisa has been a pivotal member of the team, nurturing young directors’ careers, executive producing countless commercials and music videos while overseeing the infrastructure that has made SMUGGLER what it is today. Her passion and enthusiasm for life has transcended into her work, earning her the Woman of Excellence Award by Boards Magazine, numerous Clios, AICP and Andy Awards as well as several D&AD Golden Pencils and Emmy nominations and wins.

In 2016 Lisa left Smuggler to pursue personal creative goals including envisioning and creating the diversity program for the DGA/AICP that has become CDDP.