Writers Guild of America East announced on Tuesday that Lowell Peterson will step down as executive director after his contract expires on Nov. 15.
“I am proud of my work to transform the WGAE into a more powerful force for writers,” Peterson said. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such extraordinary leaders, members, and staff. Their activism, creativity, and diligence have been essential to our success.”
News of Peterson’s departure comes a day after more than 8,000 WGA members voted to ratify the guild’s new contract, officially ending a 148-day strike that saw the WGA speak out against trends in the entertainment industry that they warned were turning their profession into a financially unsustainable one.
Peterson played a key role in the implementation of the strike in New York and other key east coast production hubs, working with former president Michael Winship and current president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, who succeeded Winship as the guild began a five-day marathon of negotiations that led to the new contract.
“We thank Lowell for his years of service to the Writers Guild of America East and his dedication to the cause of organized labor,” said Takeuchi Cullen. “Lowell came to our union at a transformational time. Over his tenure, he helped facilitate significant changes in the Guild’s membership and agenda. We wish him all success going forward.”
The WGAE council is now beginning the search for Peterson’s successor. Beginning November 16, WGAE’s Director of Contract Enforcement & Credits, Geoff Betts, will take over in an interim role.