SAG-AFTRA Names Duncan Crabtree-Ireland New Executive Director

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SAG-AFTRA made it official on Wednesday, appointing longtime general counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland as the group’s new national executive director.

Crabtree-Ireland takes over for David White, who announced on May 14 that he was stepping down after 12 years on the job.

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Crabtree-Ireland has served as the organization’s general counsel for 15 years, and for the last seven years has also been the chief operating officer. As second-in-command, Crabtree-Ireland was seen as the natural successor, and negotiations on his contract began as soon as White announced his departure.

The SAG-AFTRA board held a special meeting on Wednesday to approve a three-year agreement. Crabtree-Ireland will be the national executive director and chief negotiator in contract talks. His start date is June 21.

“It is an honor to accept this position and I look forward to continuing to work with members, the National Board, local boards, officers and staff in this new role,” Crabtree-Ireland said in a statement. “Together, we will build on the successes that have been achieved in recent years, as well as strategizing and innovating for the future as we navigate the dramatic changes taking place in our industry. I am grateful to the National Board for its vote of confidence and remain in awe of SAG-AFTRA’s remarkable history and service to its members.”

In a release, the union noted that Crabtree-Ireland had coordinated its COVID response and shaped the guidelines that allowed production to resume last year. He was also a key player in the merger of SAG and AFTRA in 2012.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that our board has selected Duncan Crabtree-Ireland as national executive director,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in the statement. “Duncan is a natural choice, an experienced leader and well respected by members and staff. I am confident that under his leadership, the union will continue building on the achievements and stability he has overseen working alongside David White over the past dozen years. I congratulate Duncan and look forward to working with him in his new capacity.”

Crabtree-Ireland is a former Los Angeles County prosecutor. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband and five children.

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