President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have set the leadership team for their Higher Ground Productions, which inked a multi-year deal with Netflix last year.
Priya Swaminathan, who was previously announced to have been working with the company, has been named as co-head of Higher Ground, along with Chernin Entertainment’s Tonia Davis.
Swaminathan and Davis are joined by Qadriyyah “Q” Shamsid-Deen, who has been named a creative executive.
Swaminathan is known for her documentaries and social activism. She is the former director of development at Annapurna Pictures.
The exec produced and co-directed Very Young Girls for Showtime in 2007. She has also worked for Jackass star Johnny Knoxville and his production outfit, Dickhouse Productions.
Swaminathan is a social activist and has been involved in the recent Time’s Up movement as well as Democratic politics in the US.
“With Higher Ground Productions, we hope to bring people together around common values and uncommon stories—and Priya, Tonia and Q are precisely the people to bring that vision to life,” said Barack Obama.
“They’re masterful storytellers. They’re veterans in the industry. And they not only bring their unique perspectives and life experiences to every project, but they’re committed to finding new voices who have their own stories to tell. Michelle and I couldn’t be more excited about the team we’re assembling.”
Added Michelle Obama: “Our goal isn’t just to make people think—we want to make people feel and reach outside of their comfort zone. With their thoughtfulness, creativity and empathy, we know that Priya, Tonia and Q will find the common thread within every story to inspire us to be something more. I’m thrilled about this team as professionals—and as people. They’re wonderful.”