Anita DeFrantz is a member of the International Olympic Committee. Anita was elected as an IOC Vice President to a second term in 2017. and the IOC Executive Board. Because she is also a lawyer, she serves on the Legal Affairs Commission of the IOC, which reviews its legal issues; on the Finance Commission, which reviews the IOC’s investments and spending plans; and is an advisor for the 2020 Tokyo Games Coordination Commission.
Before she joined the ranks of the IOC, DeFrantz captained the U.S. women’s rowing team and rowed in the eight that won a bronze medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. DeFrantz served as Vice President of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and was elected to IOC membership in 1986, making her not only the first African-American but also the first American woman to serve on the committee.
In 1987, DeFrantz began her 28-year presidency, stewarding the legacy of 1984 LA Games as president of the LA84 Foundation, which received 40% of the 1984 surplus funds, totaling $93 million.
Anita DeFrantz has a lifetime of expertise in sport and international business, nonprofit and for profit. She has touched the lives of millions of people worldwide through her service on the boards of numerous foundations and by sharing insights and perspective through her speaking, media appearances and advisory work.
Topics on which she has special expertise include:
Anita DeFrantz’s exceptional contributions to the world and rare experience on the inside and the outside of the sports industry make her an important thought leader and valuable addition to the global conversation.
It is sometimes said of certain athletes that they “transformed the game,” by changing an approach to the sport, inspiring the creation of new rules, or in some way altering how the game is played.
Anita L. DeFrantz did just that for the Olympic Games. Named by Newsweek as one of the “150 Women Who Shake the World” and Sports Illustrated as one of the “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports,” DeFrantz has used her platform in the Olympic Movement to advance fairness in sports. She’s fought sexual harassment, helped change outdated gender verification rules, pushed forward the introduction of women’s events, including Olympic soccer and softball teams, cracked down on doping, influenced new eligibility requirements, and more. With unwavering tenacity, she even took on President Jimmy Carter when he used Olympic athletes as leverage in the Cold War.