Steve Stenersen has been a guiding force behind the national and international development of lacrosse for more than 35 years. He served as CEO of USA Lacrosse, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, from 1998 to 2021 after having led its formation.
Under Stenersen’s leadership, USA Lacrosse generated more than $400 million to provide the infrastructure and resources necessary to fuel the sport’s domestic growth. During his tenure, the organization’s annual operating budget expanded to more than $22 million, USA Lacrosse membership increased to more than 440,000, total organizational assets grew from $4 million to $40 million and United States participation quadrupled to more than 900,000 players. He also led the construction of a $20 million, 45,000-square-foot national headquarters and training center, which opened in 2016. Prior to USA Lacrosse, Stenersen served as executive director of the Lacrosse Foundation, one of eight organizations that merged to establish USA Lacrosse, from 1984 to 1998.
Stenersen has traveled extensively throughout the world and visited more than 20 nations on five continents in support of the sport’s international expansion. From 1993 to 2003, he chaired the International Lacrosse Development Committee, a collaboration between the International Lacrosse Federation and the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Associations to centralize international development initiatives.
Stenersen was also selected to serve on the eight-person Unification Task Force that led to the merger of the ILF and IFWLA in 2008 and formed the Federation of International Lacrosse , the sport’s first unified international governing body. The FIL rebranded to World Lacrosse in 2021 and now represents 75 member nations on six continents.
Stenersen served as a United States delegate to World Lacrosse and was first elected vice president of the organization’s board of directors in 2014 before chairing the search committee for the organization’s first CEO in 2017. He also chaired the Blue Skies Working Group, which developed the World Lacrosse Sixes discipline, and evolved the World Lacrosse championship structure and event calendar. He currently serves on the Nominations and Governance committees, among other roles.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, Stenersen played college lacrosse at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of two NCAA championship teams and team captain his senior season. He continued his playing career with the Mt. Washington Club after college and was a professional player in the inaugural years of the National Lacrosse League. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from North Carolina and attended the University of Baltimore for graduate studies in publication design.
In addition to World Lacrosse, Stenersen has served in a variety of volunteer leadership roles throughout his career, including the Positive Coaching Alliance National Advisory Board (2013-present), Tewaaraton Foundation board of directors (2011-21), St. Paul’s School Board of Trustees and vice president (2012-19), Association of Chief Executives of Sport board of directors (2012-18) and Baltimore Station board of directors and president (2005-14).