Ayo Davis, Executive Vice President, Creative Development and Strategy, Disney Branded Television
Ayo Davis is executive vice president, Creative Development and Strategy, Disney Branded Television, overseeing all live-action programming created by Disney Branded Television for Disney+ and the Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior networks. She reports to Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Branded Television.
In this role, Davis oversees scripted and unscripted series, movies and specials, and manages the teams for Original Development, Current Programming, Original Movies, Unscripted Content, Casting & Talent Relations, Integrated Content Strategy, and Educational Resource Group/D&I. She helps fuel the Company’s Disney+ streaming platform and branded networks with programming geared toward kids, tweens, teens and families that is imaginative, aspirational and reflective of their world and experiences.
An 18-year ABC veteran, Davis most recently held the position of executive vice president, Talent and Casting, ABC Entertainment and Disney+. She was integral to many acclaimed series, including ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” Emmy® Award-winning “American Crime” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” and the Peabody Award-winning “black-ish.” She championed the careers of notable actors such as Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”), the first African American to win the Emmy Award in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category; Eva Longoria (“Desperate Housewives”), Jesse Williams (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Golden Globe® winner Gina Rodriguez.
Prior to being named head of Talent and Casting for the studio and network in 2016, she was senior vice president, Talent and Casting, ABC Entertainment Group. In that role, she oversaw all scripted primetime casting for ABC. She joined ABC Casting more than 16 years ago, overseeing such pilots as the Emmy Award-winning series “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Among her other contributions is the launch of ABC Discovers, a host of casting initiatives that aim to discover, nurture and create powerful opportunities for up-and-coming talent from around the world. Alumni of the program include Lupita Nyong’o, Gina Rodriguez and Pedro Pascal.
Davis is a member of the board of trustees of Dillard University and on the T. Howard Foundation’s board of directors for which she was also a 2020 award honoree. She was on the 2017 host committee board of Girls Inc. and was a 2016 honoree, as well as a member of Jack and Jill of America Inc., and a supporter of the nonprofit Links Incorporated, an organization that provides community service and mentors youth. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Dillard University.