Christina Thomas will step down as chief executive of BAFTA New York on July 1 and the search for her replacement will begin in February.

Thomas will stay on in the newly created position of development consultant and will take charge of expanding the non-profit’s funding resources.

She is a founding member of the New York branch of BAFTA and was appointed the organisation’s first chairman in 1996, a position she held until 2006. In 2007 she was appointed to her current role of chief executive.

A press release issued by BAFTA said under her tenure membership had grown to more than 800 and the group launched a number of programming strands as well as events such as the New York-based Film Awards Celebrations and BAFTA Brits To Watch.  

“I have enjoyed serving as chief executive and I am particularly gratified to have played a role in raising awareness of BAFTA New York and contributing to the shared goals of BAFTA worldwide,” said Thomas.

“I feel that now is the right time to hand over the reins to a new generation to continue to build the organisation in New York. Development is an area that I have always enjoyed and now I will be able to devote all my time to this endeavor while supporting the organisation’s mission and helping it grow even more.”

BAFTA New York chairman Charles Tremayne added: “Christina has been at the heart of BAFTA New York since it started. With her guidance the organisation has grown from a small body of passionate individuals to one which helps position BAFTA as a leading advocate for the best in film and television in the US.

“This year we are on target to break our record and present over 80 screenings for our members, as well as numerous other professional events, while awarding more scholarships than ever before and attracting the highest membership in our history.”

Prior to BAFTA New York, Thomas served as president of the US subsidiary of Primetime Entertainment and before that was svp of Producers Group International. She is the founder and CEO of global finance and distribution consultancy Jigsaw Communications.