Who is Anita?

Anita DeFrantz is a member of the International Olympic Committee. Anita was elected as an IOC Vice President to a second term in 2018. 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 $13 million. Over the last 32 years, the LA84 Foundation has invested more than $225 million to support more than 2,000 youth sports organizations, and it continues to provide Los Angeles youth with recreation and sports opportunities. It also has the largest digital sport library in the nation and has sponsored research and conferences on sports and society.

In 1992, she was elected as a member of the IOC Executive Board and appointed to the IOC’s Olympic Program Commission. In 1995, she was appointed chair of the IOC's "Women and Sport Commission", tasked with encouraging more women to be involved in sport worldwide. In 1997, she became the IOC's first woman elected to a four year term as vice president. That first term lasted until 2001. From 1989-1994 she served on the IOC’s Summer Program Commission, which determines which sports will be included in Olympic competition. In 1995, she became chair of the IOC’s Women and Sports Commission. She is credited with getting women’s softball and soccer on the Olympic Games, as well as the vast increase in the number of opportunities for women’s competition.

Currently, she is also founder and president of the Tubman Truth Corporation, an organization working to provide liberty and justice for all people. Anita now serves on LA 2028 Organizing Committee, and as the LA 2028 Senior Adviser for Legacy.

Anita DeFrantz has B.A. from Connecticut College and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Her first work as an attorney was for the Juvenile Law Center of Philadelphia. Today, she holds more than a dozen honorary doctorate degrees from college and universities, including Pepperdine University, Mount Holyoke College and Pomona College.

She has received numerous awards, honors and recognitions. In 2017, a plaque with her name on it was placed on the LA Coliseum as she was inducted to the LA Coliseum Court of Honor. In 2017, the LA County Supervisor appointed her to the Women and Girls Commission to encourage sports for all LA county females.

In 2016, she was given the Olympic Truce Award at the Rio Olympic Games. In 2011, Newsweek named her one of “150 Women Who Shake the World,” and Los Angeles magazine named her one of “10 Women Making a Difference in Los Angeles.” In 2010, the French magazine L’Equipe named her one of the “10 Women Who Changed Sport” in the world. In 2006, the NCAA named her one of “NCAA’s Most 100 Influential Student Athletes.” In May 2003, Sports Illustrated named her one of the 101 most influential minorities in all of sports, and from 1991-1999, The Sporting News named her one of the 100 most powerful people in sports.

How Anita Can Help You?

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:

  • What it takes to become an elite athlete
  • The intricacies of the Olympic processes
  • Effectively running nonprofit institutions
  • The parallel between athletic excellence and business excellence
  • An unusually in-depth acuity for the principles of teamwork
  • How companies, nonprofits and individuals achieve world class success
  • The best ways to get “in the zone” for peak performance

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.