Michael C Donaldson has been elected president of the International Documentary Association (IDA). Donaldson, a founding partner of entertainment and copyright law firm Donaldson & Hart, has been IDA general counsel for 12 years and a member of its board of directors since 1998. He is the first president who isn't a documentary film-maker.

"When I was elected president of IDA, it took a little while for me to get used to the idea," Donaldson said in a statement. "But I have a real sense of appreciation for the role documentarians play in our world, and the purity of their spirit and purpose, so I couldnit say no. There are many distinguished and respected documentary filmmakers on the IDA board and serving on various committees to whom I can look for advice."

The IDA board of directors is made up of Mary C. Schaffer (1st vice president), Laurence Cate (2nd vice president), Richard Trank (secretary), Richard Propper (treasurer), Michael Morales (legal counsel), Frederick Wiseman, Michael Rabiger, Len McClure, Andre Singer, Sven Berkemeier, Mitchell Block, Doug Chang, Lyn Goldfarb, Marina Goldovskaya, Barbara Leigh Gregson, Carol Munday Lawrence, Lynne Littman, Diane Estelle Vicari and Nancy Willen.

Earlier this year Sandra Ruch, a former president of marketing at New Line Cinema and senior vice president of marketing at Cinergi Pictures, was named executive director of the IDA.