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President of Disney Branded Television, Ayo Davis, was announced as her alma mater’s keynote speaker. In honor of Black Women’s History Month, we celebrate all of Davis’ achievements has she takes the TV industry by storm. Read more about Ayo inside.

Who Is Ayo Davis

With over twenty years of experience at Disney, Davis has helped the company reach several milestone achievements. Davis leads the unit of Disney Entertainment Television that creates premium original content for kids and families for Disney+, Disney Junior, and Disney Channel, Davis leads development, production, casting, and business affairs for the group’s expansive slate of live-action, unscripted, and animated entertainment.

How Dillard Will Honor Her

The proud HBCU alumna was just announced as the keynote commencement speaker at her alma mater, Dillard University. The nod is attributed to Ayo’s far-reaching impact and recognition as a trailblazer both inside and outside of the entertainment industry.

The Executive’s Success Through The Years

Davis was first named President at Disney Branded Television in 2021, and has successfully led one of the industry’s most fruitful and award-winning slates for kids. She’s led preschool hits like “Bluey,” the most-watched series for Kids 2-11 in 2023, perennial favorite “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends,” and “Superkitties,” 2023’s No. 1 most-watched new series for Kids 2-5 – to popular series and movies for Kids 9-14, like “Kiff,” “Raven’s Home,” and the ever-popular “ZOMBIES” and “Descendants” franchises. As a result, Disney Branded Television content helped keep Disney Junior the No. 1 preschool network for the 11th straight year in 2023, and Disney Channel the No. 1 cable network for Girls 6-11 for 18 consecutive years.

Davis’ team is also behind some of Disney+’s most successful original series, movies and specials, from global sensation “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” which was one of the top streaming premieres of 2023, to hit series “Goosebumps,” holiday favorites “The Santa Clauses” and “The Naughty Nine,” and major musical events like the Emmy® Award-winning “Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium.”

Davis’ Leadership Yields Countless Accolades

Under Davis’ leadership, Disney Branded Television earned an industry-leading 74 nominations and 14 wins at the 2023 Children’s and Family Emmys Awards; eight nominations and three wins for the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards; a 2024 Academy Award® nomination for Sean Wang’s documentary short “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó;” a 2023 Academy Award® nomination for Alfonso Cuarón’s live-action short “Le Pupille,” and numerous others.

Behind These Major Overall Deals

The Black woman executive is known for her strong creative relationships and has attracted some of the industry’s top creative talent to overalls with Disney Branded Television, including Tim Federle (“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”), Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar (“The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder”), Chris and Shane Houghton (“Big City Greens”) and Dan Povenmire (“Phineas and Ferb,” “Hamster & Gretel”).

Past Titles To Head Huncho

As a seasoned professional of The Walt Disney Company, Davis’ prior roles included executive vice president, Creative Development and Strategy at Disney Branded Television from 2020-2021; and before that, she was executive vice president, Talent and Casting at ABC Entertainment and Disney+. There, she played an integral role in acclaimed series including “The Good Doctor,” “Desperate Housewives,” “American Crime,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” and “black-ish,” and championed the careers of notable actors such as Viola Davis, Eva Longoria, Jesse Williams and Gina Rodriguez. Davis also launched ABC Discovers, a collection of casting initiatives aimed at discovering and nurturing up-and-coming talent from around the world. Alumni of the program include Lupita Nyong’o, Gina Rodriguez, and Pedro Pascal.

How She Continues To Contribute In & Out The Office

Davis is currently a member of the board of trustees at Dillard University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications. She also served on the board of directors for the T. Howard Foundation.

Her other contributions outside of the entertainment industry include being a member of Jack and Jill of America Inc. and serving as a member of the host committee board of Girls Inc. She has been named as a Multichannel News Wonder Woman and has been featured on Variety’s Family Entertainment Impact list as well as The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 list and 75 Most Powerful People in Kids’ Entertainment list.

Davis will deliver Dillard University’s keynote commencement address on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Be sure to check out all the amazing work Davis is doing and show her some love for Black Women’s History Month below.