Michelle Byrd, the former longtime executive director at Independent Film Project, has been tapped by the PGA national board of directors to become managing director of PGA East. In the newly created position she will oversee East Coast operations from the producers guild’s New York office. She starts May 8.

The hire comes after a search led by PGA East chairs William Horberg and Kay Rothman. She will report to PGA national executive director/COO Vance Van Petten, and PGA associate national executive director/COO Susan Sprung.

Byrd most recently ran her own consulting practice with clients including Ghetto Film School, Green Beetz, Museum of the Moving Image, the New York State Commission on National and Community Service, and the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development. Before that she was co-president of Games for Change.

As IFP executive director from 1997-2009, she instituted many of the programming and partnerships still in play including a collaboration with the UN and shifting the Gotham Awards into awards season.