Candace Allen is an American novelist, political activist, cultural critic and screenwriter, who is based in London. She was the first African-American woman to be a member of the Directors Guild of America. In the 1970s, she moved to Los Angeles, where for twenty years she worked as an assistant director on feature and television films, and later as a screenwriter. She was a founder of Reel Black Women, a professional organization for African-American women in film. Through the organization "Americans Abroad for Obama" Allen was an active campaigner for the election of Barack Obama in 2008, and subsequently became a frequent commentator on US culture, race and politics on radio and television. She writes regularly for The Guardian of London and other newspapers. She is the niece of actress and drama coach Billie Allen, and the former wife of British conductor Sir Simon Rattle.