Ivan Williams

EMRG Advisor

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Ivan Williams is a film, tv, and theatre executive producer with a passion for the arts. As a media and entertainment entrepreneur, he supports the deployment of state of the art technology to streamline and diversify the development and presentation of new shows and films. Before becoming a filmmaker, he had a 35 year career as a chemical engineer and senior business leader with major energy related companies, including ARCO, BP and Worley Parsons.

In Hollywood, Ivan has taken an ownership position in an independent film studio, helped launch a media technology company, and produced multiple entertainment projects. This includes executive producing films such as KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM that starred Ryan Kwanten, Margarita Levieva, Steve Zahn, Summer Glau, Jimmi Simpson, Danny Pudi, and Peter Dinklage, BIG STONE GAP with Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Wilson, Jenna Elfman, Anthony LaPaglia, John Benjamin Hickey and Jasmine Guy, a short film called THE SHIFT that was directed by Italian fashion industry film maker Francisco Calebrese, and co-producing the film M.F.A. that Francesca Eastwood and Clifton Collins Junior starred in and that was first runner up for the Best Film at the 2017 South By Southwest Film Festival.

In 2018, Ivan was on the team that created the acclaimed Geena Davis executive produced documentary about gender misrepresentation in Hollywood called THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING. This film was the first runner up for the Toronto International Film Festival’s Grolsch People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary.

Currently, Ivan is working with the director of THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING on a film and social impact campaign called WOMEN OF WALL STREET. A project that will address gender and diversity issues within the world of high finance. In addition to this, Ivan is executive producing a biopic called LILLY, and its associated social impact campaign. LILLY is about Lilly Ledbetter and how she became the catalyst for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

Beyond films, Ivan also executive produced the Broadway musical and original cast recording of FIRST DATE that starred Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez. He also executive produced an applauded Web TV series with Alexandra Roxo and Natalia Leite called BE HERE NOWISH SEASON 2.

As for the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Ivan has found a welcome home. He is on the UCI Foundation Board of Trustees, Honors College Executive Roundtable, chairman of the Advisory Board of the International Brain Initiative, leadership board of the Claire Trevor Society, co-chairman of the Cybersecurity Policy & Research Institute executive board, and chairman of the Dean’s Arts Board of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Additionally, he has been named a community member of the Graduate Division’s Dean’s Leadership Council, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts Emergent Media ResearchLab, and the School of Humanities Dean’s Leadership Council. Ivan even occasionally steps into the classroom as an adjunct professor to give lectures on arts management, creativity and entrepreneurship.

Ivan is president of the global UCI Anteaters in the Arts alumni group, a veteran U.S. Naval Reserve intelligence officer and a member of the preeminent Producers Guild of America, Sundance Institute, and Film Independent. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Oregon State University, and was a Dean’s Scholar at UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business, where he received his M.B.A.

Outside the university hallways, Ivan sits on the boards of several organizations, including Apples and Oranges Arts Broadway Theater Studios, Broadway Dreams Theater Actors Training Program, and ScriptHop’s A.I. script handling technology company.

In 2020, Ivan was invited to be a committee member of a volunteer group of former senior White House officials, cabinet secretaries, governors, medical experts, sports executives, and media leaders who are focused on making sure all Americans get clear and consistent communications about COVID-19. The National Organizing Coalition of Virus Information Distribution (https://nocovid.us) has helped improve public awareness of COVID-19 by initiating and creating public service announcements with celebrities, sport figures, and academics, and even Dr. Anthony Fauci.