Kerstin Emhoff (née Mackin; born March 18, 1967) is an American film producer and founder and CEO of the production company Prettybird. She is the first wife of Douglas Emhoff, the Second Gentleman-designate of the United States as the husband of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
After film school, Emhoff moved to Los Angeles, where she got a job at a small production company and "was immediately hooked into the world of short form." By 2002, Emhoff was a principal (and executive producer) at HSI Productions. HSI creatives at that time included Paul Hunter, Hype Williams, and Diane Martel. In 2007, Emhoff together with director Paul Hunter left HSI to co-found the production company Prettybird. Ad Age named Prettybird as Creativity's 2015 Production Company of the Year. Emhoff is Prettybird's president. Under her leadership the company's films have won Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards, and Cannes Lions, while she personally won a News & Documentary Emmy Award in 2012. She was executive producer of Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden (2013), which won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special; she has also produced Emmy Award-winning The Tillman Story.
She was also producer of the 2020 documentary AKA Jane Roe. She served on the board of directors of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) for over ten years, and was the AICP President for Western United States. In 2015, she chaired the AICP annual show "The Art & Technique of the American Commercial." In 2016, she founded the non-profit Pipelines, a not-for-profit initiative to increase opportunities in advertising for diverse young people. In 2020, Pipelines is scheduled to launch its mobile app, designed to connect companies looking for diverse talent with young people looking for jobs in tech and entertainment. When Ava DuVernay partnered with Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, Netflix, HBO and others to set up the Evolve Entertainment Fund (EEF), Emhoff was named to its first Advisory Board.
According to Billboard, "The EEF is a public-private partnership between the City of Los Angeles, industry leaders in entertainment and digital media, non-profit organizations and educational institutions which is dedicated to building career pathways into film, television and music for women, people of color and low-income Angelenos through paid internships, focused mentoring and an ongoing series of workshops and panels." In 2020 she joined with two of her partners at Prettybird (Ali Brown and Paul Hunter) to co-found Ventureland, a new multi-platform entertainment company, with long-time collaborator John Battsek. Ventureland, based in Los Angeles and London, will produce both documentaries and scripted content. In 2020, she serves as president of the "film craft" jury of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
She was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota to a family of mainly Swedish descent. She was married for 16 years to Douglas Emhoff, with whom she has two children. After their divorce, her ex-husband married Kamala Harris in 2014, who is the Vice President-elect of the United States. According to Harris, she and Emhoff are close.
- News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Programming – Long Form (2012)
- The Tillman Story (2010), executive producer
- Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden (2013), executive producer
- Pretty Hurts (2013), Beyoncé music video, executive producer
- We Are the Giant (2014), executive producer
- Mojave (2015), associate producer
- XOXO (2016), executive producer
- The Monster (2016), co-producer
- We Are X (2016), executive producer
- The Final Year (2017), executive producer
- Legion of Brothers (2017), executive producer
- Ready for War (2019), producer
- AKA Jane Roe (2020), producer