Shubert Foundation members Philip J. Smith and Robert E. Wankel, center, at The Fourth Annual High School Theatre Festival in March 2018. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)

Diana Phillips has been named president of the Shubert Foundation, the organization announced Monday.

Phillips takes over the position previously held by Michael I. Sovern, who died on Jan. 20, 2020 and had served in the role since 1996. Phillips has been a board member since 2011 and before retiring served as worldwide director of press and corporate affairs and an executive vice president at Sotheby’s.

Before joining Sotheby’s, Phillips was an account executive at international public relations firm Hill & Knowlton. 

She will work alongside other board members including Chairman of the Board Philip J. Smith, Wyche Fowler, Jr., Lee J. Seidler, Stuart Subotnick and Robert E. Wankel.

The Shubert Foundation, established in 1945 by Lee and J.J. Shubert, is dedicated to the funding of nonprofit theater and dance companies across the U.S.

“This is a period of unprecedented challenge for countless not-for-profit theatre and dance organizations,” Phillips said in the press release. “At this critical time, The Shubert Foundation is privileged to be able to provide the general operating support that makes Shubert funding so distinctive and is more necessary than ever.”