The move is in step with the award industry’s recent efforts to be more inclusive. “Now, it’s gender-neutral, and the ambassador could be a woman, a man, a transgender,” said Anke Hofmann, vice president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which bestows the Golden Globes. Ms. Hofmann added that the group had been contemplating the name change, and adding more philanthropic duties, for a while.
The tradition of naming a Miss Golden Globe dates back to 1963. Starting in 1971, the H.F.P.A. began naming the daughter (though occasionally the son) of a celebrity to the title, as a way to showcase an up-and-comer to further the Hollywood legacy. Their duties are largely ceremonial, and consist mainly of holding trophies backstage and herding winners offstage.
This being Hollywood, there is fierce competition and campaigning by proud A-list parents for the role. The foreign press association was vague about the selection process, except to say that its board votes on which candidates are presented to the president, who makes the final pick.
Greer Grammer, the daughter of Kelsey Grammer, first interviewed for the 2011 awards but lost out to Gia Mantegna. Three years later, Ms. Grammer expressed interest again and was told that she was chosen to be 2015 Miss Golden Globe.
Conversely, Corinne Foxx, daughter of Jamie Foxx, did not realize she was in the running to be the 2016 Miss Golden Globe 2016 until a call came “out of the blue,” she said.
“There’s an enormous amount of anticipation to see who gets to do it,” said Krista Smith, the executive West Coast editor of Vanity Fair. “It’s a gesture toward the new generation.”
The tradition’s track record of picking future stars is mixed, though there are notable exceptions.
“I think the H.F.P.A. looked at their crystal ball and thought I had a good shot,” said Joely Fisher, the daughter of Connie Stevens and Eddie Fisher, who was Miss Golden Globe in 1992. Ms. Fisher went on to be nominated for a Golden Globe for her role on the TV show “Ellen.”
Other former honorees have returned to the stage as winners. Melanie Griffith (1975) nabbed an award for “Working Girl” 14 years later; Laura Dern (1982) has racked up three wins and is nominated this year for “Big Little Lies.”
Nowadays, a thriving social media presence is perhaps as important as acting chops. “We are keeping the tradition of a next-generation actor, who is also very involved with social media,” Ms. Hofmann said.
Ms. Garcia Johnson has 248,000 followers on Instagram, where she includes a link to a GoFundMe page for the legal defense fund for Time’s Up, a new initiative for combating sexual harassment in Hollywood.
“I hope that one of the reasons why I was chosen is because I do speak out on issues that some people are afraid to speak out on,” Ms. Garcia Johnson said. (For the record, she would not reveal what she planned to wear tonight.)
The title comes with perks besides the exposure and after-party invitations, Ms. Foxx said that she landed modeling campaigns after her appearance at the Globes, and the Stallone sisters have appeared on the covers on The Hollywood Reporter and Harper by Harper’s Bazaar magazines.
Still, the job itself has some decidedly unglamorous downsides. For much of the three-hour ceremony, when no awards are being presented, honorees are confined to a chair offstage, where production assistants are on hand to offer water and snacks.
And some winners don’t take kindly to being hustled offstage by a celebrity offspring they probably don’t recognize. “Prince wanted nothing to do with me or my instructions,” Ms. Grammer said. “He looked at me like, ‘Who the hell are you?’”
If that should happen this year, Ms. Garcia Johnson can shoot back, “I’m the ambassador. Please follow me.”