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Commencement 2024

Register today to attend Dillard University Preview Weekend!

May 10, 2024
6 p.m.
May 11, 2024
8 a.m.

2024 Commencement Speaker

President, Disney Branded Television

Ayo Davis

Ayo Davis is president of Disney Branded Television, the unit of Disney Entertainment Television that creates premium original content for kids and families for Disney+, Disney Junior and Disney Channel. In this role, Davis leads development, current, production, casting and business affairs for the group’s expansive slate of live-action, unscripted and animated entertainment. 

Since being named to this role in 2021, Davis has led one of the industry’s most successful and award-winning slates for kids, from preschool hits like “Bluey,” the most-watched series for Kids 2-11 in 2023, “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends,” and “Superkitties,” 2023’s No. 1 most-watched new series for Kids 2-5 – to popular programs 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 #1 preschool network for the 11th straight year in 2023, and Disney Channel the #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,” and major musical events like the Emmy® Award-winning “Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium.”

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.

Davis 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”).

A 20+-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company, Davis’ prior roles included EVP, Creative Development and Strategy at Disney Branded Television from 2020-2021; and before that, she was EVP, Talent and Casting at ABC Entertainment and Disney+. There, she played an integral role in acclaimed series including “Desperate Housewives” and “black-ish,” and championed the careers of notable actors such as Viola Davis, Eva Longoria, and Lupita Nyong’o.

Davis is a member of the board of trustees of Dillard University, a member of Jack and Jill of America Inc., and served as a member of the host committee board of Girls Inc. She has been named as a Multichannel News Wonder Woman and 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 received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Dillard University.

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