About Anita DeFrantz

ANITA L. DEFRANTZ is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was elected for a second term as a Vice President in 2017. She serves on the Legal Affairs Commission of the IOC, which reviews legal issues for the organization, and on the Finance Commission, which reviews the investments and spending plans, as well as with the 2020 Tokyo Games organizing committee. She has served on the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors since 1976, after her election to the Athletes Advisory Committee.

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, just over $93 million. Over the past 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. The LA84 Foundation has also commissioned research and conferences on issues important to sport, as well as housing the largest digital sports library in the nation.

In 1992, she was elected to the IOC Executive Board and was appointed to the IOC’s Olympic Program Commission. In 1995, she was appointed chair of the Women and Sport Consortium, which succeeded in opening the sport up more to women.  In 1997, she was the first woman elected to a four-year term as a vice president, a position she held until 2001. From 1989-1994 she served on the IOC’s Program Commission, which proposes sports to be included in Olympic competition. She is credited with getting women’s softball and soccer accepted on the program. In addition, she was instrumental in the vast increase in the number of opportunities for women’s competition, on the Olympic program.

Currently, she is president of the Tubman Truth Corp., an organization working to provide liberty and justice for all people.

She also serves on LA 2028, the Los Angeles organizing committee for the 2028 summer Olympic Games, as the LA 2028 Senior Adviser for Legacy.

In 1977 she started her legal career as the Staff Attorney at the Juvenile Law Center of Philidelphia. DeFrantz has B.A. from Connecticut College and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 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, she was inducted to the LA Coliseum Court of Honor and she also received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research (CSSOR) at California State University, Fullerton. 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.  There’s even a large plaque with her name on it on a pillar outside the world-famous LA Coliseum sporting complex!



Commission Member, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles.

Director, Western Assets, Pasadena, CA, 1989 to present

Director, OBN holdings


Member, Women and Girls Initiative, Los Angeles County.

Pacific Council on International Policy, Los Angeles.

Trustee, Connecticut College; New London, Connecticut Trustee Emeritus, Connecticut College; New London, Connecticut.

Trustee and Steward, Women’s Sports Foundation; New York.

Member, Council of Administration, International Committee For FairPlay; Paris.

Member, Women and Girls Initiative; Los Angeles County.

Director, Institute for International Sport University of Rhode Island; Kingston, Rhode Island

Director, Legal Momentum; New York.

Director, Voters for Choice; Washington, D.C.

Director, Children NOW; Oakland, California.

Director, Yosemite National Institutes; San Francisco.

Director, The National Conference of Christians and Jews; Los Angeles.

Director, Community Television of Southern California; Los Angeles.

Director, Martin Luther King Legacy Association; Los Angeles.

Director, Executive Service Corps of Southern California; Los Angeles.

Director, Jackie Joyner Kersee Community Foundation; Los Angeles. Trusteeship for the Betterment of Women, Inc.; Los Angeles.

People for Parks; Los Angeles.

Member, Leander Club; Henley-On-Thames, United Kingdom

Member, Advisory Board, School of Nursing, University of California; Los Angeles.

Regional Selector, President’s Commission, White House Fellowships; Washington, D.C.

Advisor, Center for the Study of Sport in Society; Boston.

Director, Santa Monica College Foundation; Santa Monica, California.

Member, National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators; Wilmington, North Carolina.

Director, African-American Sports Hall of Fame; Richmond, Virginia.

Member, Association of Black Foundation Executives; Washington, D.C.

Member, Global Advisory Board, Avon Products, Inc.; New York.

Director, National Black Child Development Institute; Washington, D.C.

Director, Women’s World Cup 1999; Los Angeles.

Director, Smithsonian National Museum of American History; Washington, D.C.

Director, Los Angeles Sports Council; Los Angeles.

Member, Los Angeles Memorial Commission; Los Angeles.

Member, Society’s Board of Managers for the Law Alumni Society, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Philadelphia, Pennsylivania.

Member. The Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics; Miami, Florida.

Member, The Global Council, International Museum of Women; San Francisco.

Member, NCAA Leadership Advisory Board; Indianapolis, Indiana.

Member, NCAA Diversity Leadership Strategic Planning Committee Director, The Juvenile Law Center; Indianapolis, Indiana.

US Rowing Task Force on Access, Affordability and Diversity; Indianapolis, Indiana.

Member, Advisory Board Sports Business Institute; Los Angeles.


Doctor of Humane Letters, Mt. St. Mary’s College; May 2008

Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters
The College of Wooster, Massachusetts; May 2006

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree
Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut; May 2004

Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts; May 1998

Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree
Mills College, Oakland, California; May 1998

Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree
Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania; May 1997

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree
Illinois Wesleyan University, Macomb, Illinois.; September 1996

Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree
California State University, Dominguez Hills, California; May 1996

Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree
Pomona College, Pomona, California; May 1995

Honorary Doctor of Philanthropy Degree
Pepperdine University, Malibu, California; January 1992

Honorary’ Doctorate with Order of the Eagle Exemplar Medal
United States Sports Academy, Daphne, Alabama; July 1990

Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, New Jersey; May 1989

Awards & Honors

< George M. Steinbrenner III Sports Leadership Award, USOPC Endowment, December, 2019

History Makers, Oral History included in Library of Congress, November 2019

Lifetime Achievement Award, International Society of Olympic Historians; January, 2019

Leadership Award, LA Junior Achievement; 2018

International Women; February 2017

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Court of Honor, Lifetime Achievement Award; 2017

Internationalism Award, American Women for International Understanding; April  2017

Truce Foundation of the USA’s Truce Ideal Award

Foundation for Global Sports Development; August 2016

Truce Foundation of the USA’s Truce Ideal Award; August, 2016

Foundation for Global Sports Development Lifetime Achievement Award; August 2016

One of “10 Women Making a Difference in Los Angeles.”
Los Angeles Magazine; October 2011

One of the “150 Women Who Shake the World.”
Newsweek; March 2011

One of the “10 Women Who Changed Sport.”
L’Equipe Magazine; October 2010

Inductee, The College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America Hall of Fame;
July 6, 2010

Inductee, The National Rowing Hall of Fame;
March 20, 2010

Inductee, The Consortium for Academics and Sports Hall of Fame;
October 27, 2009

The Indiana Historical Society, a Living Legend;
July 17, 2009

Inductee, The John McLendon Minority Athletics Administrators Hall of Fame,
June 19,2009

The Africa Civic Responsibility Award by the African Diplomatic Corps in California and the editorial board of The African Times-USA.
May 22,2009

The 2008 Abby J. Leibman Pursuit of Justice Award.
California Women’s Law Center; November 13, 2008

Inductee, The International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame,
October 17, 2008.

Distinguished Woman of Los Angeles award,
Soroptimist International of Los Angeles; April 2008.

Inductee, The Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame;
October 2007

Inductee, The National Association for Sports and Physical Education Hall of Fame;
March 2007

“NCAA’s 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes.”
NCAA; March 2006

Minerva Award
First Lady of California; October 2005

“L.A.’s Most Powerful Sports Executives.”
Los Angeles Business Journal; April 2005

Bradley Unsung Hero Award
The Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum; September 2005

101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports.
Sports Illustrated, May 2003

The Billie Jean King Pioneer Award.
The New England Women’s Fund; September 2002

Top 10 African-American Leaders in Sports.
Savoy, June-July 2002

Alumni of Merit Award
University of Pennsylvania Law School; May 2002

Fair Play Gaio Cilnio Mecenate
Comitato Premio Intemazionale; June 2001

Community Service Award
Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles; May 2001

Top 25 Female Sports Executives.
Sports Business Journal, October 2000

John R. Wooden Lifetime Achievement Award
Paralysis Project of America; April 2000

Inductee, International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame
Institute for International Sport; June 1999

NCAA Silver Anniversary Award
NCAA; January 1999

100 Most Powerful People In Sports.
The Sporting News; 1991-1999

Guirlande d’Honneur.
Federation Internationale Cinema Television Sportifs; June 1998

Women of the Year Award
Hollenbeck Police Business Council; May 1998

Order of the Sacred Treasure Gold and Silver Star
Nagano, Japan; February 1998.

Olympic Torch Award
United States Olympic Committee; November 1997

Inductee, Los Angeles Hall of Fame
Los Angeles Athletic Club; October 1997

Hugh O’Brian Youth Inspiration Award;
October 1997

William May Garland Award Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games;
September 1997

Indiana Pathfinder Award
Indiana Youth Links; June 1997

The 100 Most Powerful Women In The World.
The Australian Magazine; June 1997

Treasure of Los Angeles Award
The Central City Association; May 1997

Honorary Director
SportsBridge; May 1997

Torch Bearer Award
Center for the Study of Sport in Society, Northeastern University; November 1996

International Citizen of the Year Award
International Visitors Council of Los Angeles; November 1996

Billie Jean King Contribution Award.
Women’s Sports Foundation; October 1996

Barlow Foundation’s Breath of Fresh Air Award.
Barlow Respiratory Hospital & Barlow Respiratory Research Center; NCAAMay 1996

Honoree, Coro Southern California Public Affairs;
April 1996

Medal of Honor
International Softball Federation; June 1995

1994 Kiphuth Fellow
Yale University; April 1994

World Scholar-Athlete Games Humanitarian Award
Institute for International Sport; June 1993

Trumpet Award
Turner Broadcasting System; February 1993

Award of Excellence
Sports Lawyers Association; May 1992

William G. A. Anderson Award

American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; April 1992

The Jack Kelly Rowing Award
United States Rowing Association; December 1991

Honor Award
National Association for Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators; September 1991

1990 Woman of the Year Award
International and United States Olympic Committees; June 1991

Sagamore of the Wabash Award
State of Indiana; January 1991

Jackie Robinson Sport Achievement Award
The NAACP; December 1990

Legend of Sports Award
Boys & Girls Clubs of America; December 1990

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Brotherhood Award
YMCA of Los Angeles; January 1990

Sport & Law Award
Constitutional Rights Foundation; November 1989

Recipient Major Marshall Taylor Award
Indianapolis Circle City Classic; September 1989

Inductee, Connecticut College Hall of Fame
New London, Connecticut; September 1989

10 Outstanding Women of the Year
Los Angeles Sentinel; December 1988

100 Most Important Women in America
Ladies Home Journal; November 1988

Southern California Rising Stars Citation
Los Angeles Times; November 1988

The Midas Touch Award
Volunteers of America; August 1988

Black Women of Achievement Award
NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund; June 1988

Silver Achievement Award
YWCA of Los Angeles; April 1988

Inductee, Hall of Fame
Los Angeles Challenger Boys & Girls Club; December 1987

Inductee, Women’s Sports Hall of Fame
Cincinnati, Ohio; November 1987

Award for Sports
Essence Magazine; November 1987

Gold Medal of Youth & Sport
French Republic; June 1984

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Plaque

Los Angeles Juniors


Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Home: Santa Monica, California, USA


Connecticut College, B. A. Degree, Political Philosophy with honors; 1974, New London, Connecticut

University of Pennsylvania School of Law, J.D., 1977. Admitted to Pennsylvania Bar, 1977

Member National Association of Corporate Directors.


LA84 Foundation (formerly the Amateur Athletic Foundation)
President; Board Member; 1987 to 2015
Staff Member; 1985 to 1987

Kids In Sports, Los Angeles
President; 1994 to 2014

Southern California Olympians
President; 1985 to 1999

Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee
Vice President, Olympic Villages; 1981 to 1984

Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee

Board of Directors; 1977 to 1981

The Corporation for Enterprise Development
Counsel 1980 to 1981

Princeton University
Pre-law Advisor. Third World Center. Acting Center Director
Women’s Novice Rowing Coach; 1979 to 1981

Juvenile Law Center of Philadelphia
Staff Attorney; 1977 to 1979


USA National Rowing Team; 1975 to 1980

Bronze Medal, Montreal; 1976 Olympic Games

Silver Medal, 1978 World Rowing Championships

Four Times Finalist in World Rowing Championships

Winner, Six National Championships

USOC Athletes’ Advisory Council 1976 to 1984

Vice President, Athletes’ Advisory Council 1980 to 1985

Rowing Coach, Princeton University  1980 to 1981

Olympic Order Medal of Bronze
International Olympic Committee July 1980


Member, International Olympic Committee; 1986 to present
Term expires 2032.

Member, IOC Executive Board; 1992 to 2001
Vice President; 1997 to 2001
First Vice President; 2000 to 2001

Member, IOC Athletes Commission; 1987 to 1991

Member, IOC Program Commission; 1989 to 1994

Member, IOC Eligibility Commission; 1991 to 1992

Member; IOC Commission for the Olympic Movement; 1992 to 1999

Member, IOC Legal Affairs Commission; 1994 to present

Member, IOC Centennial Olympic Congress, Congress of Unity,
Study Commission; 1994 to 1996

Member; IOC Coordination Commission of the Games of the XXVII Olympiad;
1995 to 2000

Member, IOC Coordination Commission of the Games of the XXVII Olympiad;
2005 to 2012

Los Angeles 1984

Atlanta 1996

Salt Lake City 2002

Los Angeles 2025

Chair, IOC Women and Sport Commission;
1995 to present

Chair, IOC 2000 Commission Working Group on the Designation of Olympic Games Host Cities; 1999

Member, IOC Finance Commission;
1999 to present

Member, IOC 2000 Executive Committee; 1999

Member, IOC Sport and Law Commission; 1995 to present

Member; IOC Reform Follow-Up Commission; 2001

Chair; IOC Athletes’ Commission Election Committee;
1996 to 2014

Member, United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors;
Ocotober 1976 to February 1985, 1986 to present

Member, USOC Executive Board;
1977 to 1985, 1986 to 2003

Trustee, United States Olympic Foundation; 1984 to 1989

Member; Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games; 1991 to 1997

Member, Board of Trustees, Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee for the Winter Games of 2002; 1995 to 2003

Vice President FISA (International Rowing Federation); 1993 to 2013

Federation Internationale des Societes D’Avirorv 1993 to 2013

Chair, Development Commission, FISA; 1996 to 2013

United States Rowing Association; 1975 to 1979

Member, Institute Pierre De Coubertin; 1992 to present

Associate Member, Academie des Sports, French Republic; 1991 to present

Member; Southern California Olympians; 1976 to present

Arbitrator, Court of Arbitration for Sport; 2002 to present