Courtney B. Vance, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor, has been named the new president of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation as JoBeth Williams prepares to leave the organization after a decade.

Courtney B. Vance, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor, has been named the new president of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

Vance will succeed JoBeth Williams who leaves the organization after a decade and his nomination represents the next phase in a plan to make the SAG-AFTRA Foundation “part of the industry fabric,” Vance told Variety.

“There’s the union side to SAG-AFTRA, which handles the industry and negotiates health care and pensions. It is so necessary, but what happens to performers when they’re on the way up, or on the way down? Who is there for you?” said Vance. “When you start to hear about the cases of members in need, who have turned to our foundation and received this support, their lives change. And we want to keep changing lives.”

With a $6 million annual budget, the foundation is also able to provide aid to all SAG-AFTRA cardholders. These services include emergency health and financial assistance, disaster relief and artistic and business education programs.

“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. 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,” Vance added in a statement. “JoBeth set a high bar and I look forward to building upon her legacy with our new Entertainment Industry Council and our Actors’ Council. Together, we will raise increased funding for our assistance and scholarship funds, and continue creating more robust, free programs for our artists. I can’t wait to get started.”

Vance will continue acting on the small and large screen but will also use his profile to bring a level of visibility to the foundation, he said. He is currently working on J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele’s “Lovecraft Country” for HBO.

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