Home Entertainment Writers Guild of America East Names Sam Wheeler Executive Director

Writers Guild of America East Names Sam Wheeler Executive Director

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The Writers Guild of America East has tapped Sam Wheeler as the union’s new executive director.

Chosen by the WGA East council as successor to longtime WGA East leader Lowell Peterson, who exited his post last October after the conclusion of the writers strike, Wheeler enters the role after serving as the national executive director of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) since 2022.

He will begin as executive director to WGA East April 1.

“In keeping with our transformative times, we looked for a transformative leader — and we believe we’ve found such a leader in Sam Wheeler,” Writers Guild of America East president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen said. “His clear strategic vision impressed our Search Committee and Council, as did his reputation for working closely with members and staff, leading tough negotiations and diligently administering collective bargaining agreements. He has already proven himself to be a forward-thinking labor leader who can execute on promised goals. We have full confidence he will serve the diverse interests of the Guild’s 7,500 members.”

Wheeler added: “I am honored to join the WGAE as Executive Director. I want to thank President Cullen, the Officers, and the Council for placing their trust in me. WGAE members have built a dynamic, member-led, fighting union and I am thrilled to be part of the work ahead.”

Most recently national executive director at AGMA, Wheeler first joined that guild as eastern counsel in 2019, where he led negotiations for workers at the Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theatre and Boston Ballet.

A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, Wheeler was previously an attorney at Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, where he represented both private and public sector unions in contract negotiations, and worked in the office of the general counsel at National Education Association and the United Steelworkers.

He is based in New York City.