The United States Olympic Committee has announced the formation of the Athlete & NGB Engagement Commission, which will be chaired by WNBA President Lisa Borders. The group will evaluate the structure of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic community, specifically reviewing how the USOC interacts with and oversees the 49 NGBs as well as how it can better engage with the athletes it serves.
“Athlete safety is of the utmost importance to our community, and the Athlete & NGB Engagement Commission will provide essential analysis of our current governance strategy to help us collectively improve our safeguards,” said USOC Acting CEO Susanne Lyons. “We must ensure that we are exercising the proper level of authority in both creating athlete protection policies and making sure they are strictly adhered to.”
The working group is currently being populated but will consist of at least seven members, including athlete, NGB and independent board representation as well as individuals with governance expertise in relevant organizations. Leading the group is Borders, who has more than 25 years of experience in operations, marketing, government and public service. Before being named president of the WNBA in 2016, Borders served as vice mayor of Atlanta and president of Atlanta’s City Council; chair of the Coca-Cola Foundation; and vice-president of global community affairs at the Coca-Cola Company.
“I am eager to engage in this process with the hope of assisting the U.S. sports community in emerging from this crisis stronger and further evolved,” said Borders. “Athletes of all ages and ability levels deserve to have safe environments in which to train and compete. The actions being taken now and in the future must help ensure that sport participation leaves a positive legacy for the millions of athletes in our country.”
The working group is expected to be fully formed later this month and will make a series of recommendations that will be implemented over the coming months.