Congratulations to Benita! She is a perfect example of the leadership skills a woman can acquire from a lifetime of participating in sports. She’s an amazing role model for all of us!
New impetus for Laureus USA as Benita Fitzgerald Mosley is named CEO
1984 Olympic champion and respected sports leader Benita Fitzgerald Mosley is the new Chief Executive Officer of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA.
Fitzgerald Mosley won the gold medal in the 100 metres hurdles at the Los Angeles Olympic Games, becoming the first African-American woman and second American to accomplish the feat. She was one of eight athletes selected to carry the Olympic flag into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Currently Chief of Organizational Excellence for the US Olympic Committee (USOC) and a member of the International Olympic Committee Women in Sport Commission, she immediately pledged as CEO to expand the work of Laureus USA, which uses sport as the means to improve the lives of young people.
She said: “I am thrilled and honoured to have an opportunity to lead such an esteemed organization as we unite communities to provide sports opportunities that empower young people and inspire them to excel in life. The experience I’ve gained as an Olympic athlete and USOC executive will serve me well in my new role, and I will carry the Olympic Spirit along with me as I tackle this new challenge.
“The amazing work of Laureus in the US and around the world has helped to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of millions. I am determined that we shall build on that success and I look forward to expanding the activities of Laureus over the next several years. Although it was a bittersweet decision to leave the USOC, I am humbled to have been chosen for this important role.”
Edwin Moses, Chairman of Laureus USA, said: “This is a really significant day for us. Benita was a great Olympic champion and, since 1984 when she won her gold medal, she has proved to be a great leader in the world of sport. I know she will bring her dynamism, her ideas and her contacts to Laureus and take us forward. I am so grateful that she has decided to take on this commitment.”
The Laureus mission was inspired by the words of the first Patron of Laureus, Nelson Mandela. In 2000, at the very first Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco, he said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”
Laureus USA supports community-based organizations in their delivery of programmes which lead to positive social, health and education outcomes for young people in under-resourced communities. Sport can be a tool to solve problems like obesity and youth violence.
Since 2012, support for individuals, organizations and communities has reached over 550,000 kids in 30 cities and Laureus USA expects to help an additional 125,000 through 2017.
Laureus USA is investing in a nationwide trained youth coaching force. Since 2013, Laureus USA has helped train and place over 1,000 coaches at local community programmes, impacting 180,000 youth.
The Laureus Model City Initiative (MCI) is a targeted approach to strengthening communities through sport, providing grants to Sport for Development organizations and bringing them together to form coalitions to create more effective local programmes.
Laureus USA has been supported by Mercedes-Benz USA since 2012, and is currently in the middle of a three-year US$10.5 million funding deal.
Dietmar Exler, President and CEO Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) said, “Mercedes-Benz USA has a long tradition of supporting and empowering future generations and Laureus does a great job with this. We are proud to support Laureus and we look forward to working with Benita.”
Daniel Mawicke, President and CEO of Richemont North America, which supports the work of Laureus in the United States, also welcomed the appointment. “We are very pleased that Benita will be joining Laureus. We are sure that with her massive experience, she will add enormously to the scope and range of the work that Laureus does.”
Fitzgerald Mosley has taken on many significant sports roles over the years: she was the first Chief of Sport Performance for USA Track & Field; was regional director for Special Olympics International; and was the Programme Director for the marketing division of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. Her executive experience also extends to the media industry, when she was President and CEO of Women in Cable Telecommunications for eight years. Laureus USA board member and executive recruiter Cathy Griffin and the Griffin Network identified Benita as the person to take on the CEO role.