Jae Je Simmons, the Screen Actors Guild's executive director of affirmative action, has taken the post as SAG/New York's new executive director. She replaces John Sucke, who has retired from the guild after 17 years as the SAG/NY staff head.
The guild an-nounced Simmons' appointment at press time, saying that, in her new post, she will promote the guild's mission, global/regional initiatives, and collective bargaining to constituent groups; as well as insure all procedures and protocols are in full compliance with the guild's new governance policies and practices. She will communicate and represent the interests of the SAG/NY board of directors and membership to senior staff. In concert with the elected local leadership, she will articulate the needs of the New York division in contract negotiations and in all other policy decisions. She will report to Robert Pisano, SAG's national executive director-chief executive officer.
"In filling key management positions, one of our priorities is to identify executives working at the Screen Actors Guild who have distinguished themselves in their current work, and have demonstrated capacity to assume greater leadership and management roles," Pisano said. "Jae Je is such a person, and I am delighted she has accepted this promotion. Jae Je brings to these new responsibilities experience in the private sector, as well as her SAG background, all of which will enable her to fulfill our mission—to serve our members."
SAG/NY President Eileen Henry welcomed news of Simmons' appointment, saying, "The New York board is thrilled to have Jae Je as its executive director. Jae Je's insight and strategic plan for New York are in lock step with our goals. She is a remarkable advocate for member rights."
Simmons will also serve as the regional director for the Boston and Philadelphia branches, ensuring that member services and administrative needs are met in each of these branches. In that role, she will report to Hollis Batchelor, deputy national executive director for organizing, education, and branch management.
Simmons joined the guild in 1998 as the affirmative action director, working with SAG's affirmative action and equal employment opportunity committees to promote and develop the guild's diversity programs and outreach. Prior employment included v.p. and director of client services at the Terri William Agen-cy; diversity program executive for the Texaco Corporation, and in the City of Dallas' Office of Cultural Affairs. Simmons is also an accomplished journalist with works published in Essence, Black Enterprise, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Dallas Business Journal.