Gabrielle Carteris Named SAG-AFTRA President, Rebecca Damon Executive Vice President

Three top officers are women for the first time

SAG-AFTRA has elected Gabrielle Carteris its new president and Rebecca Damon as executive vice president, marking the first time that the top three SAG-AFTRA officers are women.

The third, Jane Austin, is the organization’s secretary-treasurer.

The late Ken Howard, who died March 23, was the first elected president of the merged union and the first president of either SAG or AFTRA to die in office. Carteris, previously executive vice president, assumed his duties and was elected president on Saturday at the group’s national board meeting.

Howard was reelected to a two-year term Aug. 20, 2015, and Carteris, a former star of “Beverly Hills 90210,” will serve the balance of his term.

“I am deeply honored to be chosen by the SAG-AFTRA National Board to serve the union and its members as president,” said Carteris. “Ken was a great union leader, friend and mentor. He left big shoes to fill, but with the support of the national board of directors and the membership, I am committed to improving the lives of all SAG-AFTRA members.”

Added Damon: “As executive vice president, I will continue working to expand SAG-AFTRA’s reach and to increase opportunities for members across the country. Following the peerless example of our beloved late president, Ken Howard, we will focus on member outreach to maximize the solidarity and bargaining strength of our remarkable union.”

Carteris, a working actor, was elected to her first term as executive vice president at the inaugural SAG-AFTRA Convention in 2013 and was reelected in 2015. She previously served the Screen Actors Guild from 2008 to 2009 as an alternate national board member, and in 2010 she began a three-year term as a national board member.

Damon, also a working actor and voiceover performer, is a SAG-AFTRA National Board member. She is the chair of the national Government Review Committee and MOVE NY Committee and also serves on the Executive, Finance and Government Affairs and Public Policy Committees.