The foundation on Tuesday announced Vance will succeed current head JoBeth Williams, who is stepping down after 10 years in the role. Vance will assume his new position Thursday at the foundation’s 4th annual Patron of the Artists Awards at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. This year’s ceremony will honor Jennifer Aniston, Greg Berlanti, Ava DuVernay and Mark Ruffalo.
“We are proud to announce Courtney B. Vance is the new president of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. He embodies our values of education and dedicated service to artists, and he is a remarkable role model,” Williams said in a statement. “As for me, it has been a profound honor to serve as president of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for the past decade. I look back at the great strides we have made over the past 10 years with a fondness and deep pride in what we have accomplished. Though it is bittersweet to step back from this role, I have every faith that Courtney will continue the Foundation’s legacy and do the organization proud.”
According to the foundation, Vance is set to helm the organization’s new Entertainment Industry Council, comprised of industry leaders including J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy, which will advise it on how to best serve performers at all points in their career.
In his own statement, Vance added that he wanted to work with the Entertainment Industry Council and Actors Council — created under Williams’ leadership — to raise funds for financial assistance and scholarships and creating free events for artists. “The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a vital organization and it is a privilege to shine a light on it in my new role as president,” he said. “My parents raised us to be helpers and just as there are no small roles, there are no small jobs. This is an opportunity to help people and educate artists who are the backbone of our industry.”
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a nonprofit offering resources to SAG-AFTRA members including free audition taping, panels on acting, voiceover workshops, audition preparation classes and more.
In addition to his new gig as SAG-AFTRA Foundation president, Vance can soon be seen in HBO’s Matt Ruff novel adaptation Lovecraft Country and the Issa Rae-Lakeith Stanfield romantic drama The Photograph.