Julia boorstin

Senior Media and Technology Correspondent
Julia Boorstin is CNBC’s Senior Media & Entertainment Correspondent based at the network’s Los Angeles Bureau.  She covers media with a special focus on the intersection of media and technology. Boorstin also plays a key role on CNBC’s bi-coastal tech-focused program “TechCheck” (M-F, 11AM-12PM ET/8AM-9AM PT) delivering reporting, analysis and interviews around streaming, social and the convergence of media and technology. She joined CNBC in May 2006 as a general assignment reporter and in 2007 moved to Los Angeles to cover media.

In 2013, Boorstin created and launched the CNBC Disruptor 50, an annual list she oversees, highlighting the private companies transforming the economy and challenging companies in established industries. Additionally, she reported a documentary on the future of television for the network, “Stay Tuned…The Future of TV.” She also helped launch CNBC’s ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative covering the people and companies closing gender gaps, and leads CNBC’s coverage of studies on this topic. She is currently writing a book on female founders that Simon & Schuster’s Avid Reader imprint is publishing in Fall 2022.

Boorstin joined CNBC from Fortune magazine where she was a business writer and reporter since 2000. During that time, she was also a contributor to “Street Life,” a live market wrap-up segment on CNN Headline News.

In 2003, 2004 and 2006, The Journalist and Financial Reporting newsletter named Boorstin to the “TJFR 30under 30” list of the most promising business journalists under 30 years old. She has also worked for the State Department’s delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and for Vice President Gore’s domestic policy office.

She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a B.A. in history. She was also an editor of The Daily Princetonian.

nicco annan

Actor, Choreographer, Advocate
Born Nathaniel Nicco-Annan to a black Southern woman born on an army base in Germany and a West African man from Ghana, Nicco — as he is affectionately known — was raised in Detroit, Michigan. Best described as talented and entertaining, Annan is an impassioned spirit, who had a love for acting and dance from his earliest years. Ultimately, that passion led him from Detroit to New York, where he trained under the iconic director Israel Hicks at SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Theatre Arts and earned his B.F.A. Shortly after that, he accepted an opportunity to be a choreographer in residence at the Yale School of Drama.

Annan’s razor-sharp wit and emotional accessibility have driven a varied career in theater, as well as in film and television. His brand defies all of the traditional limitations. As a gay man, he grew up in between the worlds of the “grand fantastical” gay scene and the rigid realities of being a big black man in America, facing the stigma that both can carry. It is those exact experiences, however, that inform and bring texture to all of Annan’s performances and, in particular, to the nonbinary roles he has played. Annan’s work brings the dignity and grace central to the common humanity of every character he portrays. He demystifies the myths around southern black men, black gay men and those identifying in the nonbinary space and the full lives that they lead.

Annan originated the role of Uncle Clifford in Katori Hall’s play “Pussy Valley.” He has performed it in numerous NYC stage readings, workshops and the subsequent stage production of the play at Mixed Blood Theatre. While vying for his role on the STARZ smash hit television version of “P-Valley,” just like everyone else in the cast, he approached the role with an open and willing heart and the unrelenting spirit of the ancient Yoruba deity Olokun.

Annan’s TV credits include the series “Half Sisters,” “Shameless,” “This Is Us” and “Claws.” He currently resides in Los Angeles.

deputy don graves

Deputy Secretary  
U.S. Department of Commerce
Don Graves is the 19th Deputy Secretary of Commerce.

Graves brings decades of experience in the private sector, government, and nonprofits to the Department of Commerce. Most recently, he served as Counselor to President Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign. Prior to that, Graves served as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations at KeyBank. In this role, Graves led KeyBank’s corporate responsibility team, including the bank’s $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan, the bank’s sustainability work, stakeholder engagement, and outreach, and oversaw the KeyBank Foundation and the First Niagara Foundation.  

During the Obama-Biden Administration, Graves served as Counselor and Domestic and Economic Policy Director for then-Vice President Biden. He was previously appointed by President Barack Obama as Executive Director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and led the federal government’s efforts in the economic recovery of the city of Detroit. Graves also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he oversaw the CDFI Fund, the $4 billion Small Business Lending Fund, and the $1.5 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative. He was also the U.S. Federal Representative to the G7 Task Force on Social Impact Investment.  

He has served on the Board of Directors of the Metro Health Foundation, the FDIC’s Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion, the Board of Trustees of the Community Reinvestment Fund, the Policy Advisory Board of the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, the Board of Visitors of the Cuyahoga Community College, the Advisory Board of the Commission on Economic Inclusion, and as Co-Chair of Cleveland Rising.

Graves has a rich family history connected to the Commerce Department. His four-times great grandparents built a successful horse and buggy taxi business in Washington that once stood at the site of the Department’s headquarters. Their son went on to own a premier hotel just blocks away and become one of our nation’s first Black patent-holders through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  

Graves holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Williams College and a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he received the Dean’s Award. He is a fellow of the National Association of Public Administration. Graves is married and has two children.

Jeffrey Hirsch

President & CEO
Jeffrey Hirsch is President and Chief Executive Officer for Starz.

As CEO, Hirsch will shape the overall business and programming strategy for Starz and oversee the continued evolution and expansion of the STARZ premium subscription platform around the world.

Hirsch joined STARZ in 2015, was promoted to COO in 2016 and has been running the network since September 2019. Under his leadership, the company launched the highly-rated and first-of-its-kind STARZ app in the U.S. that offers the ability to stream or download STARZ premium content. He orchestrated STARZPLAY’s rapid expansion and, coupled with its STARZPLAY ARABIA joint venture, has since expanded its global footprint into more than 55 countries throughout Europe and Latin America along with Canada, Japan, India and Indonesia. STARZ and STARZPLAY are available across digital OTT platforms and multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies around the world. Already ahead of schedule, Starz plans to continue its rapid international growth and, as previously announced, expects to have as many as 15-25 million international subscribers by 2025.

Hirsch recently announced that STARZ delivers the highest composition of female viewership in premium cable, and the network continues to build on its success with a focused strategy of developing and producing premium programming that appeals to women and other traditionally under-served African-American, Latinx and LGBTQ audiences. Under his leadership, Starz continues to deliver a deep slate of original hit series including “Power,” a top-rated premium pay series for African-American audiences and over 10 million multi-platform views per episode and “Outlander,” a perennial ratings favorite among women.

Hirsch also recently greenlit three new series written and/or executive produced by women including a reimagined “Dangerous Liaisons,” the third season of “The Girlfriend Experience” and the dark comedy “Shining Vale.” The network also premiered “Power Book II: Ghost,” starring Mary J. Blige in a lead role, the first of several “Power”-inspired series that includes a prequel shepherded by “Power” creator and showrunner Courtney A. Kemp and executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as STARZ continues to expand the “Power” Universe into a year-round viewing experience.  

Hirsch has played a key leadership role at STARZ since joining the company in July2015 as President of Global Marketing and Product Development. Since Lionsgate’s acquisition of STARZ in December 2016, Hirsch has played a lead role in integrating Starz into the Lionsgate family and exploring opportunities for the two companies’ combined suite of OTT offerings.

Prior to joining STARZ, Hirsch served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Residential Services at Time Warner Cable. Hirsch was recognized in 2012 as the sole recipient of the Vanguard Award for Young Leadership and twice ranked by Forbes for his executive talents and influence in marketing and social media.  

He received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Business Administration from The Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.


Director, Actress
A graduate of The Juilliard School, actress, director and producer Monica Raymund continues to expand her repertoire and pave the way for new female voices in Hollywood. Her creative choices and strong points of view break the mold of how women of color are perceived in front of and behind the camera as she brings to life stories from a fresh and timely perspective.

Currently, Raymund stars in the second season of the Starz hit crime-drama series, HIGHTOWN, from executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The series follows Jackie Quiñones (Raymund), a hard-partying federal Fishery Service agent who has her free-wheeling life thrown into disarray as she finds herself at the center of Cape Cod's gruesome heroin epidemic. In Season 2, Jackie joins forces with Leslie, the only other female cop on the force, to bring down major dealer Frankie Cuevas, the man Jackie holds responsible for the death of her best friend, Junior. Through it all, Jackie continues to walk the tightrope of sobriety that she struggled through in Season 1.

Behind the camera, Raymund was part of the inaugural class of Female Forward, NBC’s initiative aimed at increasing female representation in the director’s chair. On television, she directed an episode of HIGHTOWN for the new season and recently wrapped production on directing the Season 4 finale episode of USA’s THE SINNER as well as an episode of LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME. Last year, Raymund directed episodes of CBS’s FBI, and in 2018, she directed an episode of LAW & ORDER: SVU. Lastly, in 2016, she directed the short film TANYA for the Hidden Tears Project, a non-profit media company developing content to bring awareness to sex trafficking.

Raymund is perhaps best known for her role as ‘Gabriela Dawson’ spanning eight seasons on NBC’s hit series CHICAGO FIRE. As part of Dick Wolf’s popular “Chicago” franchise, the series follows the personal and professional lives of the firefighters, paramedics and first responders working at the Chicago Fire Department. Raymund received an Imagen Award for “Best Actress, Television” in 2013 for her performance, and was subsequently nominated an additional three times. Her additional television credits include Michelle and Robert King’s THE GOOD WIFE, Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green’s BLUE BLOODS, David Pasquesi’s SPECIAL SKILLS, and a 3-season arc on Fox’s LIE TO ME opposite Tim Roth and Mekhi Phifer.

On the big screen, Raymund has starred in Nicholas Jarecki’s thriller ARBITRAGE opposite Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, as the lead of Stephen Elliott’s drama HAPPY BABY opposite Bill Heck, and in Mahesh Pailoor’s BRAHMIN BULLS.

tasha smith

Executive Producer, Director, Actress and Acting Coach
Tasha Smith is an unstoppable force. Carrying the motto to “stay on your mark and stay focused”, this actor, director, producer and teacher has done just that to the delight of moviegoers and television watchers. Smith has been dazzling audiences behind the camera as much as she has shined onscreen.

Since making her directorial debut in 2015 with the short film, “Boxed In,” where Smith tackles the complex issue of mental illness, her work as a director and producer strives to reflect real-life and open audiences up to experiences and circumstances outside of their own. In 2017, Smith was once again at the helm for TV One’s film “When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story,” starring recording artist and actress, Lil Mama. For this project, Smith takes on a bevy of tough topics including teen pregnancy, the dark side of exotic dancing and the fight for survival. Smith’s work illustrates, with careful intricacy, stories that too often go unnoticed or forgotten. Her other credits in directing include several episodes of successful television series including FOX ‘s hit shows “911” starring Angela Basset, and “STAR” with Queen Latifah, the CW’s “Black Lightning,” Amazon’s upcoming Tracy Oliver series “Harlem” with Meagan Goode, BET and Irv Gotti’s “Tales” where she and the industry vet detailed the cinematic song story of Jay Z’s “99 Problems,” and the STARZ drama “P-Valley.”

Fans have been delighted by Smith’s accomplished acting career for years. Her exceptional work in the acclaimed films “WHY DID I GET MARRIED?” and its sequel, “WHY DID I GET MARRIED, TOO?” landed her character of “Angela” a spin-off series with Tyler Perry’s “FOR BETTER OR WORSE” on OWN and earned her an NAACP Image Award nomination as Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. A former comedienne, Tasha previously let her comedic credentials shine in “Couples Retreat” before enamoring audiences as a captivating cougar in “Jumping The Broom”, later she became a skilled psychotherapist in the 2014 erotic thriller “Addicted.” On Lee Daniels’ “Empire” she breathed life into flawed family woman Carol Hardaway opposite Taraji P. Henson. Her affinity for making characters authentic and relatable is what fans expect when they see Smith, but there’s more to this multifaceted performer.

Already well accomplished and astute in her craft, Smith takes pride in nurturing and mentoring new talent through her Tasha Smith Actors Workshop (TSAW). In her acting academy, artists dedicated to development hone their skills, tapping into their innate artistic potentials. Smith's work at TSAW is multi-beneficial: her students leave polished and equipped with skills for interplay, movement and expression; and she receives spiritual fulfillment from watching them bloom.

“I started TSAW because I wanted to empower other actors to pursue their purpose in the arts,” says Smith. “I thought I was just giving to them but teaching for the past 15 years has helped me transition in my directing career. It empowered me.

”Her passion for teaching has taken her across continents and cities, from Los Angeles to New York and Atlanta to Africa.

Most recently, Smith took on the role of Executive Producer for the upcoming STARZ series, “Black Mafia Family” where she also directed the premiere episode, several episodes including the season finale. She also severed as Executive Producer for BET Documentary, “Strip Down: The Naked Truth,” where she also serves as host and narrator. The BET Original is an in-depth examination of stripper culture and features real-life stories of female strippers from around the country - providing a look at a lifestyle that is often misrepresented and glorified in pop culture.

On and off screen, Smith’s commanding presence draws the attention of people enamored by her vigor and inspirational life story. Smith is adamant that her career is not per chance, but an intangible calling summoned to her since childhood.

“I always had the dream,” says Smith. “I always say dreams are not figments of our imagination but God showing us a glimpse of our future."

“I just believe that the circumstances you’re born in don’t necessarily determine your future,” she adds. “I believe that our passion give us purpose and our purpose gives us prosperity.”

larenz tate

Actor, Activist
Power Book II: Ghost
Larenz Tate has wooed audiences for his performance as Councilman Rashad Tate in the hit premium cable series “Power” for Starz. He is reprising his role for the series corollary, “Power Book II: Ghost.”

In film, Tate has starred in Allen and Albert Hughes' classic films Menace II Society and Dead Presidents, as well as Inkwell, Why Do Fools Fall In Love (produced by Paul Hall), A Man Apart, Waist Deep, Deuces, Ray, the three-time Academy Award-winning film Crash, and, most recently, the hit comedy Girls Trip. Outside of “Power,” Tate’s other TV credits include, “House Of Lies,” “Rush,” “Rescue Me,” “Game Of Silence” and more.

He’s currently developing projects to produce for film, television, digital and audio along with producing partners LaRon Tate& Lahmard Tate and their company Tate Men Entertainment.

STARZ #TakeTheLead Transparency Talks:
Breaking Down Economic Barriers and Finding Pathways to an Equitable Society

November 9, 2021

Full Talk Available Here

Cultural change-makers join STARZ President and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch and the Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves for a conversation about the role that both culture and policy play in leading our future to a more equitable society.

In Partnership With:

La La Anthony

Producer, Author,
Entrepreneur and Actress

Power & BMF

Eva Longoria Baston

Actress, Producer,
Director & Activist

UnbeliEVAble Entertainment

Daveed Diggs

Executive Producer

Amaury Nolasco


Diana Galbadon


Olga Segura

Filmmaker and

The Latinx House

Nicco Annan

Actor, Choreographer, Advocate

Deputy Don Graves

Deputy Secretary  
U.S. Department of Commerce

Jeffrey Hirsch

President & CEO

Monica Raymund

Director, Actress

Tasha Smith

Executive Producer, Director, Actress and Acting Coach

Larenz Tate

Actor, Activist
Power Book II: Ghost

Rep. Joaquin Castro

Member of Congress

Jamila Daniel

Chief Diversity Officer and SVP, Human Resources

Madeline Di Nonno

President and CEO
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Michelle Sugihara

Executive Director
CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment)

Jaia Thomas

Diverse Representation

Julia Boorstin

Senior Media and
Technology Correspondent


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