Washington, DC (PressExposure) February 16, 2011 -- Boxing Champion Laila Ali Will Take the Reins for a Two-Year Term; Succeeds Former President Jessica Mendoza
The Women's Sports Foundation is proud to announce that world champion athlete Laila Ali will take office this month as the organization's incoming president. Ali, who joined the Women's Sports Foundation Board of Trustees in 2007, will serve a two-year term as an official spokesperson and will help shape strategic direction and development initiatives for the organization.
"I'm thrilled to serve as president of the Women's Sports Foundation, and help girls and women from all walks of life understand the important role of sports and getting active," said Laila Ali, president of the Women's Sports Foundation. "I am fortunate to know the benefits of sports and competition first-hand and want to ensure that women, from elite athletes to young girls, have the opportunity to get involved."
Ali is an undefeated world champion boxer, having been named the International Boxing Association (IBA), Women's International Boxing Association (WIBA) and Women's Boxing Federation (IWBF) Super Middleweight champion throughout her boxing career. Outside the ring, Ali displays the same intensity and pure power. She is a soon-to-be-mother of two and founder of the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand. Ali has served as a media contributor to high-profile outlets such as Sports Illustrated, "The Early Show," "Good Morning America" and the "Today Show," and made it to the final round of the fourth season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." In addition to her work with the Women's Sports Foundation, Ali works to mobilize young women through her motivational book "Reach!. "
"We are delighted to have Laila Ali serve as the next president of the Women's Sports Foundation. Her dedication to empowering women and her legacy as a world class athlete is truly inspiring," said Kathryn Olson, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. "Laila has been an active member of the Board of Trustees since 2007, and we are pleased to have her join the extraordinary legacy of female athletes who have served as presidents of this organization."
In her new leadership role, Ali will serve on the Women's Sports Foundation Board of Trustees. Top athletes and business leaders, including Olympic gold medalist and World Champion, Gymnastics, Shawn Johnson, former senator Rebecca Q. (Becky) Morgan, and Gatorade president of North America and global chief marketing officer, sports nutrition, of PepsiCo, Sarah Robb O'Hagan, have joined the Board as Trustees this year. Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Chief of Sports Performance for USA Track and Field, and former president of the Women's Sports Foundation (1997 - 1998), will serve as the new chair of the Foundation's Board of Trustees for two-years and provide guidance to the Trustees and Executive Committee.
Shawn Johnson, a World Champion and Olympian gymnast, was the balance beam champion and silver medalist in the individual all-around, floor exercise and team categories in the 2008 Olympic Games. In April 2009, Johnson was named the 79th Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Sullivan Award recipient, one of the most prestigious honors in amateur sports. Johnson became the youngest ever contestant on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," where she danced her way to becoming the champion of season eight. Presently, she is preparing for the 2012 Olympics.
Benita Fitzgerald Mosley is Chief of Sports Performance for USA Track & Field and oversees the organization's resources and programs dedicated to maximizing Team USA's performance in world and Olympic competition. From 2001-2008, Mosley served as president and CEO of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT). Mosley won a gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, making her the first African-American woman to accomplish this feat. Mosley is also a 1980 and 1984 Olympian and was an alternate on the 1988 Olympic team. She won gold at the 1983 Pan American Games, and is an eight-time national champion and 14-time NCAA All-American.
Becky Morgan currently runs The Morgan Family Foundation with her husband Jim. Established in 1993, the Foundation focuses its giving on four major goals, which include youth, education, environment and stewardship. Morgan also served as California State Senator from 1984 to 1993. Among her many accolades, academic and civic achievements, Morgan is also a former Stanford University Trustee, a member of the Stanford Business School Advisory Council, a director of PG&E, a member of Women's Forum West and the International Women's Forum.
Sarah Robb O'Hagan is Gatorade's president of North America and global chief marketing officer for sports nutrition. As such, Robb O'Hagan is responsible for the entire Gatorade business in North America and is leading the development of sports nutrition on a global scale, including the launch of Gatorade's G Series in several markets in 2011. Since joining PepsiCo in 2008 as Gatorade CMO, O'Hagan has been recognized in the top 40 Under 40 by the Sports Business Journal (2009) and Crain's (2010), and named to Forbes Magazine's "Most Powerful Women in Sports" (2009) and Ad Age magazine's Women to Watch (2010).
For a complete list of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, please visit: http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/About-Us/Who-We-Are/Board-Of-Trustees.aspx.