Message from the Chair

Steven Knauss

Assistant Executive Director Steven Knauss is part of the executive staff team of the Directors Guild of America (DGA). His primary responsibility at the DGA is to oversee the Western Assistant Director/Unit Production Manager Council and the many member committees that run through the Council. He is also the DGA’s point person on safety issues and he has been a Directors Guild-Producer Training Program Board Trustee since 2015. A South Jersey native, before working with the DGA, Steven worked for the Service Employees International Union in Nevada and Florida, representing Healthcare and Public Sector workers.


Working with AD/UPMs across film, television and new media, Steven sees firsthand how difficult it is for people to break into the industry and acquire the requisite days to enable employment on high budget projects. He believes that the Training Program provides incredible training and mentorship opportunities for aspiring filmmakers who want to work hard and be at the center of film production.


Steven is proud of the Training Program’s history and commitment to attracting and training trainees from diverse backgrounds. After completing the Program, Training Plan graduates go on to do some of the most exciting and challenging work in the industry while also often serving in leadership positions on DGA Councils and Committees. Steven is honored to have been elected to serve as chair of the Training Plan, and looks forward to working with Guild members and producers to further develop this life-changing program.   

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