Susan MacLaury to Retire as Executive Director of Shine Global, Transitioning to Senior Advisor and Board Member; Alexandra Blaney and Francile Albright Mullen Appointed as Co-CEOs

Susan MacLaury to Retire as Executive Director of Shine Global, Transitioning to Senior Advisor and Board Member; Alexandra Blaney and Francile Albright Mullen Appointed as Co-CEOs


Susan MacLaury to Retire as Executive Director of Shine Global, Transitioning to Senior Advisor and Board Member; Alexandra Blaney and Francile Albright Mullen Appointed as Co-CEOs


Shine Global co-founders Albie Hecht and Susan MacLaury at the 2023 Shine Global Resilience Awards at Paramount Pictures Studios on October 03, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Doheny/Getty Images for Shine Global Inc)

July 15, 2024 – Susan MacLaury, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Shine Global, the award-winning non-profit media company that improves children’s lives by telling powerful stories, has announced her retirement. After 19 years of leading the organization, MacLaury will transition to a senior advisor role and continue to serve on Shine Global’s Board of Directors as the organization changes to a co-leadership model led by Alexandra Blaney and Francile Albright Mullen.

Susan has been a driving force behind Shine Global since co-founding it with her husband Albie Hecht in 2005.  Beginning with the Emmy Award®-winning, Academy Award®-nominated documentary War/Dance, which MacLaury Executive Produced, Shine Global’s films have been used to take action on child labor, child abuse, and child soldiering, shared moving stories about the effects of war, parental incarceration, undocumented immigration, and homelessness on children, and highlighted the power of music, dance, and sports to overcome intolerance.

“Co-founding and serving as Executive Director of Shine Global has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. Working with courageous and caring filmmakers, our small staff, and boards, we have told powerful stories of underserved children the world over, highlighting their resilience. Our educational outreach is global in scope and we’re proud to have presented several films for members of the US Congress, Department of Labor, and Department of State in support of pro-child legislation. I know that our new co-CEOs, Alexandra Blaney and Francile Albright Mullen, will surpass the work Shine Global has accomplished to date.”

In addition to War/Dance, MacLaury also Executive Produced The Harvest (La Cosecha) with Eva Longoria, the Academy Award® winner Inocente, 1 Way Up in 3D, The Eagle Huntress with Executive Producer Daisy Ridley, Liyana with Executive Producer Thandiwe Newton, Home Is Somewhere Else, Through Our Eyes: Homefront, From This Small Place, Comedy Against the Odds, and Anuja. Additionally, she produced The Wrong Light and Virtually Free and co-produced Tre Maison Dasan. Susan has been instrumental in spearheading Shine Global’s educational outreach and social advocacy initiatives for all its films.

With dual degrees in social work administration and health education, Susan was an associate professor of health education at Kean University from 1994 through 2013. In 2022 she was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from her alma mater, the State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland.

In light of Susan’s retirement, Shine Global is excited to introduce a new co-CEO leadership model. Alexandra Blaney will assume the role of Co-CEO, Creative Director, while Francile Albright Mullen will take on the position of Co-CEO, Executive Director.

Alexandra Blaney, who has been with Shine Global since starting as an intern in 2009, brings a wealth of experience in film production and creative direction. Her vision and creativity have significantly contributed to the success of Shine Global’s projects. She most recently produced Shine Global’s film Through Our Eyes: Homefront with Sesame Workshop, Executive Produced From This Small Place, Comedy Against the Odds, and Anuja, and created Shine Global’s Resilience Awards, now entering their third year.  As Co-CEO, Creative Director, Blaney will continue to oversee the creative aspects of Shine Global’s productions, ensuring that the organization remains at the forefront of impactful storytelling.
Francile Albright Mullen joins Shine Global as Co-CEO, Executive Director, bringing extensive expertise in non-profit management and organizational leadership as well as in educational and community engagement with films. Mullen’s strategic approach and commitment to social advocacy align perfectly with Shine Global’s mission. In her new role, she will focus on the administrative, operational, and fundraising aspects of the organization, driving forward Shine Global’s mission to create impactful media that advocates for children’s rights and well-being.

“We are both in awe of and incredibly grateful for Susan’s unbelievable dedication and visionary leadership over the years. From the very beginning of Shine Global, Susan has inspired us with her passion and empathy for children’s issues that has enabled us to grow into the influential organization we are today,” said Albie Hecht, Co-Founder and Chair of the Board. “As we move forward with Alexandra Blaney and Francile Albright Mullen at the helm, we are confident that Shine Global will continue to thrive and expand its impact of improving children’s lives through film.”

Susan MacLaury’s transition to a senior advisory role and her continued presence on the Board of Directors ensures that Shine Global will benefit from her wisdom and experience. The organization looks forward to this new chapter, embracing the innovative co-CEO leadership model to continue its mission of producing films that highlight and address critical issues for children around the world.

About Shine Global
Shine Global is a non-profit media company that improves the lives of children by telling powerful stories to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. We produce inspiring films and compelling content about underserved children. Through tailored distribution and outreach, we connect with our audiences in communities, classrooms, museums, and on Capitol Hill as part of a powerful engagement campaign to encourage social change.
Since our founding in 2005, Shine Global films have won more than 100 major awards, including an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject for Inocente and an Academy Award®-nomination and two Emmys® for War/Dance. Recent films include the documentary-animation hybrid Liyana, the hit documentary The Eagle Huntress, Through Our Eyes: Homefront which is available on HBOMax, the Ariel Award winner Home Is Somewhere Else, and Comedy Against the Odds which is currently in film festivals.

This annual event recognizes and celebrates the films and filmmakers that highlight the resilience and strength of children in the face of adversity. The awards are open to films of any genre that showcase children overcoming challenges, such as poverty, violence, illness, and discrimination, and demonstrate their resilience, courage, and determination.

Shine’s Alexandra Blaney to speak at NALIP Media Summit in June

Alexandra BlaneyShine Global’s Director of Marketing and Production, Alexandra Blaney, will be speaking at the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Media Summit on June 7th, 2014 on a panel entitled “Creating Docs that Make an Impact.”

The panel of veteran and award-winning documentary experts will reflect upon and share insights into the craft of documentary storytelling, their artistic vision, and what the essential elements of a well-crafted, enticing documentary are. The panel will ask how you identify the story and find the right way to convey it, what are some ways to get great exposure for your film and build buzz, and how to keep the audience hooked, move them emotionally, and make a lasting impression. Moderated by Dawn Page of DP PR,  Alexandra will join Nicolas Entel (director, Sins of My Father) and Alex River (Writer/Director) in this thoughtful, informative conversation on the power of documentaries.

Alexandra joined Shine Global in 2009 and now serves as Director of Marketing and Production. She worked on the post production and distribution of The Harvest (La Cosecha), served as Associate Producer on the Academy Award® winning short documentary film Inocente, and is co-Producer on Shine’s forthcoming documentary 1 Way Up in 3D. She also helps develop and manage the outreach and engagement programs for Shine’s films.

The NALIP Media Summit will be in LA June 5-8 and is the largest and most prestigious annual gathering of Latinos in the media field nationwide. For the past fifteen years, this unique event has been organized as a creative, business and networking opportunity for Latino media makers and those interested in Latino creative talent and content. This year, the NALIP Media Summit will present top-level speakers who will provide analysis of the television, film, documentary and digital media industries while projecting future trends. Intimate conversations with artists will be held as well as workshops for emerging and mid-career media makers. There will be pitching and screening events, and an annual Gala Awards honoring past triumphs and rising talents.

The NALIP Media Summit is presented by HBO and the National Latino Media Council. Chair Jimmy Mendiola along with the NALIP Board and Executive Staff, have invited top industry professionals and visionaries to examine new trends in media making, financing, marketing, and content creation.

For more information on the Creating Docs that Make an Impact panel visit: