SAG-AFTRA appoints National Executive Director of Crabtree-Ireland

SAG-AFTRA said it has appointed Duncan Crabtree-Ireland successor to David White as national executive director and chief negotiator.

The board of directors of Hollywood’s largest union, which represents around 160,000 artists, approved a three-year contract for Crabtree-Ireland, its general counsel and chief operating officer, in a special meeting on Wednesday. His compensation was not disclosed.

Crabtree-Ireland replaces White, who recently announced he will be stepping down from the post he has held since 2009. Crabtree-Ireland will assume the role on June 21.

“Duncan is a natural fit, an experienced leader and highly respected by members and staff,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement. “I am confident that under his leadership the union will continue to build on the accomplishments and stability he has overseen working alongside David White over the past twelve years.

Crabtree-Ireland, 48, had led the union’s COVID-19 security measures and participated in negotiations with Hollywood studios over the terms of a return to work agreement last fall.

“It is an honor to accept this position and I look forward to continuing to work with Members, National Council, Local Councils, leaders and staff in this new role,” said Crabtree-Ireland in a communicated. “Together, we will build on the successes of recent years, while strategizing and innovating for the future while navigating the dramatic changes happening in our industry.”

Crabtree-Ireland has been General Counsel since 2006 and Chief Operating Officer since 2014. He was involved in the successful merger between SAG and AFTRA in 2012.

He was also principal negotiator for the music contracts of SAG-AFTRA and for the contract of SAG-AFTRA with the Telemundo network for the productions in Spanish language. Bilingual in English and Spanish, he oversees the union’s bilingual initiative and is co-host of the “SAG-AFTRA en Español” podcast.

In 2019, SAG-AFTRA awarded him the George Heller Memorial Award for his outstanding service to the union. He chairs the board of directors of the SAG-AFTRA & Industry Sound Recordings Distribution Fund and is also co-chair of the board of directors of the American Federation of Music & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, as well as a member of the boards of administration of the SAG-Producers Pension Plan and the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan.

A former criminal attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Crabtree-Ireland has received numerous awards for his work, including the Peggy Browning Award and the Los Angeles LGBTQ + Bar Co-Chair Award.

Crabtree-Ireland is appointed Interim Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He was also an assistant professor at USC Law School.

The Georgetown University and UC Davis Law School graduate lives in Los Angeles with her husband, John, and their five children.


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