Actors’ Equity Association has appointed its first-ever Director of Diversity, who will be responsible for furthering the union’s mission for greater inclusion and diversity both within the organization and the broader theatre community. Nicole S. Smart will take on the role, effective immediately.
Smart previously served as the associate director of leadership development for the The National Collegiate Athletic Association, prior to working as the legal coordinator for the NFL’s Management Council. Throughout her 15-year professional career, she has also served in leadership roles to facilitate diversity and inclusion objectives for numerous non-profit associations.
“Nicole is a proven leader who will help us build new, forward-looking strategies to help change the stage,” said AEA Executive Director Mary McColl in a press statement. “We know that if we are going to succeed at making our industry truly diverse and inclusive, we are going to need to engage the entire industry. Nicole is just the person to help us to take these critical steps forward on behalf of Equity’s Members, and I can't wait for this work to get started!”
“I look forward to working for an organization that has committed from top to bottom to making diversity and inclusion a core part of its mission,” added Smart. “I am thrilled to put my experience and involvement on diversity and inclusion to work for Equity's talented Members.”
AEA represents more than 51,000 professional theatre actors and stage managers. Actor Kate Shindle is President.