Board of Directors
Term: 2019 – 2023 – Four–Year Term
Residing: Twickenham, England
The president confirms the agenda and timing of all Board Meetings and General Assemblies, and presides over these meetings. The President also serves as an ex-officio member of all committees and is responsible for the development and implementation of World Lacrosse Strategic and Operational Plans.
England’s Sue Redfern brings a lifetime of dedication to the sport of lacrosse in her role as World Lacrosse Board President. Sue’s lacrosse career began in 1969 as goalkeeper for the Birmingham Ladies Lacrosse Club and spanned 17 years with Birmingham and the Worcester Ladies Lacrosse Club. Her administrative and organizational work for more than four decades includes team, tournament and league management at all levels of the sport, from local to international. For 20 years she assisted in organizing the six-day National Schools Tournament and, in 2001, was named director of the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Associations (IFWLA) Women’s World Cup held in High Wycombe, England.
Sue has held numerous national and international lacrosse leadership positions including Chair of the All England Women’s Lacrosse Association (AEWLA) and Board Chair of the English Lacrosse Association (ELA). From 2001-2008 she served as Vice-President (Administration) of the IFWLA, participating in its transition to the FIL. From 2011 to 2017 she was an official representative from England to the international federation.
In 2009, Sue was honored with both the FIL Lifetime Achiever Award and the FIL Development Award. In 2008 Prince William presented her with the Torch Trophy Trust Award for her services to lacrosse. Other honors include the IFWLA Honorary Life Member Award, the ELA Development Award, the ELA Award for Services to International Lacrosse and the AEWLA Honorary Life Member award.
Sue’s commitment to lacrosse has been matched only by her distinguished career in academia. She retired in 2012 as Director of Information Services and University Librarian at Roehampton University, London, where she managed a staff of up to 150 and oversaw a wide array of university media and information services. While there, and previously at other institutions, Sue published numerous professional articles, presented at many conferences, advocating for innovative and effective ways to enhance teaching and learning, and was a member of several national and international organizations and committees dedicated to information services and academics.
A resident of Twickenham, England, Sue holds a BA with Honors and an MBA from the Open University as well as a diploma in Librarianship from Birmingham Polytechnic. Sue was initially elected as President of FIL for a two year period in 2017, and with changes to Officer terms she was re-elected in 2019 for a four year period.
“I am honored to have been re-elected president of World Lacrosse at a critical and exciting time for lacrosse.” While implementing important changes, World Lacrosse needs “to ensure the continuity of the development program, both in new countries and in helping existing member countries grow even stronger.” She added, “We also need to forge changing relationships with regional organizations, such as the Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union (APLU), the European Lacrosse Federation (ELF), The Pan-American Lacrosse Association and to encourage other new regional organizations to be developed and I would like to see more opportunities for women in leadership and committee roles. I look forward to working with other Board members to achieve our ambitious aims.”
Term: 2018–2022 – Four-Year Term
Residing: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
The vice president performs the duties of the president in the absence of the president or in the event the president is unable to serve. The vice president also serves as an ex-officio member of all committees of the Board and chairs the Nominations Committee.
Steve Stenersen has been a guiding force behind the national and international development of lacrosse for thirty years. He has served as executive director and, now, president and CEO of US Lacrosse since 1998, and the organization continues to lead the sport through unprecedented growth. In 1984, Stenersen became the executive director of the Lacrosse Foundation. He led the transformation of the organization, which dated to 1959, by increasing membership by 700 percent to over 17,000 members. He also led the creation of a national network of chapters to unify development efforts in areas throughout the country, and supervised fundraising and construction of the first national headquarters for the sport in 1991, as well as a subsequent facility expansion in 1997. In the mid-90s, he played a leading role in the merger of eight national lacrosse organizations to form the sport’s first national governing body. The result of those efforts was the creation of US Lacrosse, which began operations on Jan. 1, 1998. The organization has since invested more than $150 million into the sport’s national development. US Lacrosse has more than 430,000 members in 68 regional chapters throughout 45 states.
As the chief staff executive for US Lacrosse, Stenersen reports to the organization’s 25-member national Board of Directors, which sets organizational policy and strategic direction. He also serves as the chief staff liaison to the US Lacrosse Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization governed by a 27-member Board of Directors, the mission of which is to provide additional financial resources to support US Lacrosse operations.
US Lacrosse provides national structure and leadership for the sport and offers comprehensive resources focused on sustaining positive growth. The organization has a staff of 83 at its national headquarters in Baltimore and engages hundreds of leadership volunteers throughout the country at board, committee and subcommittee levels. Stenersen is now leading efforts to fund and construct a 45,000-square-foot National Lacrosse Center, which will serve as the organization’s new headquarters and the national training center for US Teams. The facility will also incorporate the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame.
Stenersen has traveling extensively throughout the United States and visited more than 20 nations on five continents to support lacrosse development efforts. From 1993 to 2003, he chaired the International Lacrosse Development Committee, a joint committee of the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) and the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Associations (IFWLA). In that role, he led initiatives focused on expanding the sport throughout the world. Stenersen also served on an eight-person committee that led the unification of these two international federations, which culminated in the formation of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) in 2008. The FIL has 50 member nations on six continents, and is coordinating and supporting lacrosse development efforts in a number of nations. Stenersen serves as the United States’ delegate to the FIL and was elected as the WL’s Vice President in 2014.
A Baltimore native, Stenersen played college lacrosse at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of two national championship teams, including his senior season when he was a team captain. Stenersen continued his playing career after college with the Mt. Washington Club. Stenersen has a B.A. in Journalism from the University in North Carolina and also attended the University of Baltimore for graduate study in Publication Design.
Stenersen has received recognition for his contributions to the sport on a number of occasions, including the Mt. Washington Cup (1986), the Krongard Trophy (1990), the Vail Lacrosse Shootout 25th Anniversary Award (1997), the Bernie Ulman Award (1998), the International Lacrosse Development Award (2005) and the Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s Peter Kohn Award (2014). In 2008, he was recognized by Sports Events magazine as one of the top 25 innovators and influencers in the sports industry. Stenersen has been inducted into St. Paul’s Athletic Hall of Fame (2008), the Greater Baltimore Chapter of US Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2009), and the North Carolina Chapter of US Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2014). He received the St. Paul’s School Outstanding Alumnus Award (2010) and a Smart CEO Magazine Future 50 Award (2014).
Steve was the past president (2013 – 2014) of the Board of The Baltimore Station, a residential addiction recovery program that serves veterans transitioning from the cycle of poverty, substance abuse and homelessness to self-sufficiency. He is a member of the National Sports Concussion Coalition (NSCA) Board, the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) National Advisory Board, the Association of Chief Executives of Sport (ACES) Board, and the Tewaaraton Foundation Board. He has represented US Lacrosse on numerous task forces and working groups across sport, including the United States Olympic Committee Working Group for Safe Training Environments (2010). Steve is also a member of St. Paul’s School Board of Trustees and a graduate of the Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership Program (2012).
Steve and his wife, Garvey, have two children, Audrey and Cole. The family resides in Butler, MD.
Finance and Governance Director
Term: 2020 – 2024 – Four–Year Term
Residing: Guildford, England
The secretary general chairs the Finance Committee, oversees the financial functions of the organization, ensures adherence to relevant governance requirements and serves as a liaison with international sporting bodies.
Sallie Barker MBE brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in the sport sector to her role as Finance and Governance Director on the World Lacrosse Board of Directors, including serving as Chair of the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse (now known as World Lacrosse) Women’s World Cup Local Organizing Committee.
At the national level, she has held numerous volunteer positions with England Lacrosse (EL), including serving on the Board of Directors (2002-present), Chair of the National Lacrosse Committee (2015-present) and Chair of the EL Events Committee (2018-present).
At the international level, Barker is Chair of the GB Lacrosse Council (2008-present), has served as a delegate on behalf of England Lacrosse to the World Lacrosse General Assembly (2018-2020) and was a delegate to the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Association on behalf of England Lacrosse (2003-2008). She also served as a member of the Transition Committee that successfully merged the two organizations governing women’s and men’s lacrosse to form a single international federation, known then as the Federation of International Lacrosse, in 2008.
For her service to sport, and in particular her leadership in expanding opportunities for women and girls to participate in sport, she was awarded the MBE in 2016 by Her Majesty, The Queen.
As a member of the Board of Directors, the Finance and Governance Director is responsible for oversight of financial and governance business of the World Lacrosse. The position ensures that World Lacrosse demonstrates transparency, accountability and responsibility to its members and advises the Board on compliance issues with policies, procedures, constitution and bylaws.
The Finance and Governance Director chairs the Finance and Audit Committee of the Board, as well as other committees and working groups, as appointed.
The position works closely with both the President and the Chief Executive Officer to prepare Board and General Assembly agendas and supporting papers. The position is a further evolution of the role that had previously been titled Secretary General.
Term: August 2018 – July 2022 – Four-Year Term
Residing: Perth, Australia
The Competition Director is responsible for the development, management and oversight of competition at World Lacrosse World Championships and other World Lacrosse Sanctioned Events. This includes responsibility for strategic competition priorities, and providing Policy direction to Members, including, but not limited to Player Eligibility and Event By Laws implementation.
Having served on the IFWLA as an Officer for 16 years Fiona now joins the FIL Board of Directors following her election at the 2018 FIL General Assembly in Netanya, Israel. With competition being at the heart of any sport Fiona recognizes this is a pivotal time for the FIL, particularly in the competition arena with its ambitious program of change ~ “Competition is at the heart of any sport as we seek to develop, grow and promote the game at all levels and in all member nations.” Lacrosse has a compelling story to tell, and Fiona is pleased to be part of the FIL Team to help tell it with energy and vision, hoping for a shot at Olympic glory.
Fiona’s lacrosse career started with playing schoolgirl lacrosse in England, before moving with her family to Western Australia where she represented the State for 10 years, and played club lacrosse until 2016 when she finally hung her boots and retired her much-loved goalie stick!
Away from the playing field her inherent interest in the sport saw Fiona undertake administrative roles from club to international with continual service since 1985. During her term as WA President Fiona established herself on the international stage when she undertook the role of Executive Director of the 1989 IFWLA World Cup. The success of this event saw her elected as the IFWLA Vice President Tours & Tournaments the following year, serving two four-year terms before stepping down to again take on the ED role of another world event, the 1999 IFWLA U19 Championship in Perth, thus making her the first person to lead two World Events. After 11 years as Women’s Lacrosse Australia President Fiona stepped aside in 2001, prior to her election as IFWLA President, where she again served two terms. During this time Fiona was one of the catalysts in organizing a women’s international workshop, the outcomes of which facilitated the delivery of a restructure which would lead to the men’s and women’s associations merging into a single governing structure (FIL) that today represents a modern and diverse lacrosse community.
Following the merger of the Men’s and Women’s Australian NGB’s the Australian Lacrosse Association was formed in 2008, and Fiona took on the Presidency role of this unified body in 2009 prior to undertaking her current role as Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union.
Fiona’s outstanding contribution over a long and distinguished career has been recognized with the awarding of the Australian Sports Medal (2000), the WA May Campbell Service to Sport Award (2001), Honorary Life Membership to Lacrosse West (1991), Women’s Lacrosse Australia (1996) and the IFWLA (2009), the FIL Development Award (2008) and the FIL Global Leader award (2009).
Fiona is a double certificate Registered Nurse in General and Midwifery and specializes in Emergency Nursing. To meet the competing demands of work and lacrosse Fiona enjoys being on the tennis court and is an avid League tennis player. She loves to travel, is one of the rare people who embrace the long-haul flights, and always enjoys taking time to reach out to many friends around the world.
She is a passionate, innovative and dedicated lacrosse leader who looks forward to being part of a Board seeking to thrive and succeed. Fiona will work with her committees to develop a competition plan which will create engagement and excitement for the FIL’s key initiatives to grow the sport globally, as well as its key events which include the Olympic vision, the World Games, and its current field and indoor international championships.
Fiona says her greatest challenge will be having the ability to ‘see and define what doesn’t yet exist’ which will result in the delivery of a game that will hopefully spearhead Lacrosse into the Olympics. “Lacrosse is aiming to become a truly global sport that offers gripping action and excites emotion. It’s a sport that brings people together, it has its unique aspects, which are fundamental to the integrity of the game, its rules of engagement and its values. Success in this sport is based upon respect, resilience and determination, and I’m thrilled to be part of this global movement to drive the competition and profile of the sport forward.”
Term: 2019 – 2023 – Four-Year Term
Residing: West Yorkshire, England
The technical director is responsible for the development of rules for all lacrosse disciplines recognized by World Lacrosse, the development of officials, and the selection of officials for World Lacrosse world championship competitions. The technical director is also responsible for World Lacrosse Anti-Doping activities, including management of the World Lacrosse Anti-Doping Administrator.
WL Technical Director Donald E. Blacklock, of West Yorkshire, England, brings years of lacrosse officiating experience to this newly created board role. A veteran international lacrosse field official, Don has served since 2008 as FIL’s chair of Men’s Officiating, a post responsible for overseeing the design, development and growth of the FIL’s international officiating program including the training of officials for all disciplines of men’s lacrosse and selection and management of officials and assessors for the last six Men’s World Championships. He led a committee that established and maintained qualification standards, training curricula and testing for World Championship officials. He also has provided expertise to help establish referee programs throughout the world in emerging lacrosse nations by teaching referee courses and consulting with national governing bodies on the design and implementation of officiating programs and accreditation systems.
In England, Don serves as a member of the English Lacrosse Association’s (ELA) Referees and Rules Committee, which is responsible for the country’s Men’s National Officiating Program. The committee sets the overall direction of officiating for all levels of men’s lacrosse in England including certification criteria and allocation of officials to county, national, European and international competitions. It also develops and delivers referee-training courses and manages the rule change process.
In 2013, Don received the Lester B. Person Award from the Canadian Lacrosse Association for outstanding contributions of sportsmanship and leadership to the game of lacrosse. In 2014, he received the FIL’s Development Award for contributions to the development of officiating in international lacrosse.
Don’s involvement in sports extends to other areas including Netball. He serves as Digital Innovation and Transformation Manager for the All England Netball Association (England Netball) and previously was the organization’s Officiating Manager responsible for supervising more than 8,000 thousand umpires, tutors, assessors and regional administrators. He also is Independent Director for Sports Officials UK Ltd. (SOUK), an organization that supports development of officials across all UK sports. Prior to that, he held various technical positions in the automotive industry.
Don majored in administrative studies from York University, holds a postgraduate diploma in information security from Georgian College and a certificate in project management from Edinburgh Business School.
“I’m very honored to be the first Technical Director for the FIL,” Don said. “Officiating is one of the important foundation pieces for the sport and it is crucial for the continuing development of the game that we develop not only great athletes, but referees and umpires who can help players to showcase their talents.”
Don added that a cohesive and professional officiating program provides important benefits. “As we move towards Olympic recognition, we have a great opportunity to work with the regions and member nations to help them recruit and develop officials to improve the quality of lacrosse at the local level, which will naturally feed through to the performance levels of the game.”
Term: 2018–2022 – Four-Year Term
Residing: Marlboro, New Jersey, United States
The development director is responsible for the management of the World Lacrosse membership program, as well as World Lacrosse’s international development program.
Bob DeMarco serves as WL’s Director of Development, taking over from longtime development head, Tom Hayes. DeMarco has been a part of FIL lacrosse development for years.
DeMarco served as FIL Development Committee Chair from 2014 through his appointment to Director of Development. From 2011 to 2014 DeMarco served as an FIL Development representative, providing equipment grants and conducting development clinics in several developing countries.
DeMarco’s efforts with Belgium, Russia and China, helped those countries’ National Governing Bodies for lacrosse field competitive teams and participate in the 2014 Men’s World Lacrosse Championship in Denver, Colorado, as a part of the 38-nation event. In fact, a total of 16 countries became members of FIL during his tenure with FIL’s development department.
DeMarco, a longtime member of the Long Island Lacrosse Club, is a graduate of Hofstra University where he was a standout dual-sport athlete in both football and lacrosse. He has been inducted in 2004 into the New Jersey Football Coaches Hall of Fame in recognition of his 30-year coaching career at Old Bridge High School in Matawan, New Jersey where he won two state championships.
Bob has a long history of involvement with international lacrosse, serving as an administrative assistant with the United States Men’s Lacrosse team at the International Lacrosse Federation’s 1974 World Championship. DeMarco has enjoyed a long professional relationship with Tom Hayes at Rutgers University where the two coached together for over twenty years.
DeMarco retired from coaching in 2009. He and his wife Zoni reside in Marlboro, New Jersey. They have two children, a son, C.J., and a daughter, Lindsey.
Term: 2020-2022 – Two-Year Term
Residing: Dallas, Texas, United States
Appointed to the role of General Counsel for World Lacrosse in January 2020, Rob brings 25 years of experience as a legal counselor and adviser and as a partner in some of the most respected law firms in the United States. As a proud lacrosse parent, Rob also serves as a volunteer and coach with youth lacrosse programs in Dallas, Texas, USA.
Rob is currently a Dallas-based partner in the Corporate and Securities Practice Group of Jackson Walker, LLP, where his practice focuses on middle-market mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and general corporate work.
During his career, Rob has served as both special and general outside counsel to companies across a variety of industries, including manufacturing, industrials and chemicals, oilfield services, healthcare, and software and textbook publishing. More recently, Rob has represented institutional investors in connection with the acquisition, disposition, financing, recapitalization, or restructuring of their investments in privately held, middle-market companies. He also regularly advises strategic and sponsored companies with respect to their own investment or borrowing activities and on issues related to corporate governance and investor relations.
Rob received his A.B. from Princeton University, where he was a member of the Varsity Baseball team, and his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law. He has also been awarded a Certificate of International Jurisprudence from the University of London.
Term: 2018 – 2022 – Four-Year Term
Residing: Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States
David Ryan has spent the entirety of his professional career working in international finance.
After graduating from Yale, David spent 22 years at Goldman Sachs & Co. David served in various roles in NY for 13 years before spending his final 9 years in Asia, where he ultimately served as President of Goldman Sachs Asia (ex Japan), and sat on the firm’s Management Committee.
David currently sits on the board of Mapletree Investments, Chairs the board of Mapletree Oakwood Holdings, and serves as a non-executive Director of ADT Security Services. David is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University as well as a member of the Yale Development Council.
In addition to his board roles, Mr. Ryan remains a Senior Director of Goldman Sachs & Co. and serves as a Corporate Advisor to Temasek Holdings.
David, a native of Manlius NY, played lacrosse collegiately at Yale University, where he was a member of two NCAA tournament teams, including the 1990 Final Four team. David earned All-American and Academic All-American honors while at Yale. David has remained close to the Yale Lacrosse program, having served on the Alumni board for the last 5 years.
Term: 2020 – 2024 – Four-Year Term
A highly-respected leader in international and professional lacrosse with more than 30 years of experience as a player, coach and team executive, Steve Govett jointed the Board of Directors of World Lacrosse as an Independent Director on September 8, 2020. His appointment was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the Board.
Govett, who is President of the San Diego Seals professional indoor lacrosse franchise in the National Lacrosse League (NLL), has spent the better part of three decades in the league, first as a player and for the past 22 years as an executive. He was named president of the San Diego Seals when the expansion team was awarded by the NLL and publicly announced on August 30, 2017.
From 2002 to June 2017, Govett was the president, general manager and governor of the Colorado Mammoth, owned and operated by Denver-based Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE). In Govett’s tenure, he built one of the League’s most successful organizations both on and off the field. The Mammoth was one of just two teams to make the playoffs 14 times in his 15 seasons, and the city took notice. Colorado finished first or second in League attendance 14 times, Under Govett’s direction, the Mammoth claimed three division titles and won the NLL championship in 2006.
In addition to his success in professional lacrosse, Govett has been extensively involved in international competition since the mid-‘90s.
A dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, Govett first played in international competition in the 1994 Men’s World Championship, winning a bronze medal with Team Canada. Four years later, he took home a silver medal in a double overtime loss to the U.S. that’s been touted as the greatest game ever played. The Burnaby, British Columbia native then went on to general manager roles for both the U.S. and Canadian National Teams, winning multiple World titles in the process.
“This Board seat is one of the most prestigious honors of my career,” said Govett upon his appointment. “World Lacrosse works to positively impact the lives of lacrosse players and their communities across the globe, and has a vision to spread the game worldwide. It brings me great joy to have an opportunity to contribute to the growth of lacrosse beyond its current borders.
“As a child, I never thought I’d represent my country in international competition. I was so fortunate to have that opportunity. Now, the chance to be part of a leadership group with a vision of making lacrosse an Olympic sport is an endeavor I cherish,” Govett added.
In 2016, Govett was inducted into his hometown Burnaby, British Columbia, Sports Hall of Fame as a builder in the sport of lacrosse, and was later enshrined into his college athletics hall of fame.
Chair, Athletes Commission
Term: 2018-2022 – Three-Year Term
Residing: Oslo, Norway
A five-time captain of the Irish National Lacrosse Team with 78 international caps to his credit, Sean Gibson is the first-ever Chair of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Athletes Advisory Commission (AAC). He was appointed to a three-year term as Chair of the AAC in December 2018.
As Chair, Gibson leads a six-member Commission responsible for representing the voice and perspective of athletes within the FIL governance structure.
A multisport athlete who excelled in lacrosse, soccer and volleyball while growing up in Canada, Gibson captained the Irish National Team in 2007, 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2017. He competed in three World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, three World Lacrosse Championships and three European Lacrosse Championships, earning a silver medal in the 2012 European Championship. Gibson’s 78 international caps make him the most–capped player in the history of Irish Lacrosse and among the leaders worldwide.
Gibson grew up in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada and played volleyball and soccer at Lethbridge College from 1997-99, earning all-conference honors as a goaltender in 1999. He then transferred to St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada, where he completed his post-secondary soccer career and began playing lacrosse on a competitive level while, earning a degree in Information Systems (Technology and Business).
Following his graduation from St. Francis Xavier University in 2004, Gibson moved to Ireland and immediately became involved with Ireland Lacrosse. In addition to his accomplishments as a player, Gibson has been instrumental in furthering the growth of lacrosse throughout Europe. He led the effort to develop the first-ever European Box Lacrosse Championship, which was held in Turku, Finland in 2017; establish the European Box Lacrosse Invitational, an annual event for National Teams, National Development Teams, officials and volunteers to gain international experience; and, establish an annual European Box Lacrosse Forum, which began in 2014.
Gibson has served as a member of the Ireland Lacrosse Board of Directors since 2011, the European Lacrosse Federation Board since 2017, and was head coach at the University of Liverpool in Liverpool, England from 2015-17.
Gibson now resides with his wife, Eva, and newborn daughter Joey in Oslo, Norway, where he works in the maritime freight sector as an Enterprise Architect for Klaveness AS, where he is responsible for leading digital transformation and aligning business initiatives with technology.
Chief Executive Officer
Appointed: June 2017
Residing: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
World Lacrosse Chief Executive Officer will be focused on a number of strategic initiatives, including the development and expansion of the organization’s communications, world championship and commercial platforms.
From 2003-09, Scherr was the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the first former Olympian to serve in that position. While overseeing 45 Olympic sports, Scherr directed the day-to-day operations at a time when the USOC enjoyed unparalleled success. At the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, the United States collected 110 medals, then the most ever for an American Olympic team in non-boycotted Games. The United States also won an all-time high 25 medals – this is for an Olympics on foreign soil at the Torino, Italy Winter Games in 2006.
During this time, Scherr fostered valuable relationships with U.S. amateur athletic associations, business leaders, and national and international sports leaders. While serving as CEO, the USOC delivered its strongest financial performance in history, and America’s athletes enjoyed unparalleled success on the field of play – a track record that earned Scherr widespread respect and admiration. As CEO, he worked with the congressional task force and volunteer leadership to direct a historic governance reform process, reducing the size of the Board from 125 to 11. Under Scherr’s guidance, the USOC adopted a new vision statement and developed a new operating plan for the USOC titled, ‘Athlete’s first’. This plan returned the emphasis of the USOC to the athlete and in the process regained the confidence of the constituent groups, the press, congress, and the public. In conjunction with the International Olympic Committee, Scherr helped negotiate the sale of the media rights in the U.S. market to NBC for a record $2.01 billion along with a sponsorship to GE for $200 million in 2003.
While he was the USOC CEO, Team USA won 236 total medals: 110 in Beijing, 101 in Athens and 25 in Turin, leading the medal count in Athens and Beijing and finishing among the leaders in Torino.
Scherr joined the USOC staff as Chief of Sport Performance in November 2000. As head of sport performance, he was responsible for directing many USOC programs and services to support the development of amateur athletics in the United States. During this time, the USOC won 34 medals in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the most ever for the United States. The previous high was 13.
Prior to joining the USOC, Scherr served as the Executive Director of USA Wrestling from 1990 to 2000, an era that saw record growth of the sport and unprecedented success on the mat in World and Olympic competition. Scherr was the first executive director of USA Wrestling who was still an active athlete. He was the youngest Executive Director in the Olympic movement at the time.
Scherr’s first Olympic experience came as a competitor in the Seoul 1988 Summer Games. Both he and his twin brother, Bill, earned a spot on the 1988 U.S. Wrestling Team. Scherr finished fifth in the freestyle light-heavyweight class (198 pounds/90 kg) while his brother took the bronze in the heavyweight division (220 pounds/100 kg). Scherr was a silver medalist at the world championships in 1987 and 1989, World Cup champion in 1986 and 1989 and second in 1990. He was also the Pan Am champion in 1989 and the U.S. Nationals champion in 1986, 1987 and 1989. He was named the outstanding wrestler at the 1989 U.S. Nationals.
Scherr was a two-time All-American and national champion wrestler at the University of Nebraska from 1981-84. Both Jim and Bill were four-year lettermen for the Cornhuskers and both won NCAA Titles in 1984. Jim won the 177-pound Big Eight and NCAA title while Bill won the 190-pound NCAA championship.
Scherr earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s degree in business administration from the acclaimed Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
A native of Mobridge, S.D., Scherr has also served on the founding task force for U.S. Paralympics and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the US Paralympics. He is a founding member of Partnership for Clean Competition with colleagues from Major League Baseball, National Football League, and the National Basketball Association and served as its first Board Chairman. He is also a past volunteer Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation. Scherr is a distinguished member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Order of Merit award winner National Wrestling Hall of Fame and is a member of the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame for accomplishments in sports management and administration.
Scherr is married to the former Haley Thompson and has five children – sons Evan, Brycen, and Liam, and daughters Kylie and Grace.
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