Champions for our Cause

The board of directors for the U.S. Center for SafeSport plays a critical part in achieving our mission. As the Center is the first and only organization of its kind, the board provides a depth and breadth of relevant experience to advise our team in a unique and dynamic landscape. 

Our board is comprised of nine independent board members, including experts in abuse prevention and investigation, nonprofit and business leadership, ethics compliance, sports administration and two elite athletes. Together, these experts provide governance and key perspectives for growth as the Center evaluates opportunities to better serve athletes and all those involved in amateur sports organizations.

Regis Becker

Senior Consultant, Becker & Company

Regis Becker is a Senior Consultant and Becker & Company, a Pittsburgh-based national investigations firm. His 40 year career includes senior leadership positions in ethics and compliance, investigations and crisis management. Becker recently retired as the inaugural Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer at Penn State University, and previously served as Chief Compliance Officer for PPG Industries and as a Director of Corporate Security for Praxair, Inc. He began his career in law enforcement as a white collar crime detective and later as an FBI Special Agent.

Angelo Giardino

Department Chair of Pediatrics, University of Utah
Chief Medical Officer, Primary Children’s Hospital

At-Large – Beyond his role with the Texas Children’s Hospital, Angelo Giardino serves as a professor of pediatrics and section chief of academic general pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Giardino is a distinguished fellow of the American College of Medical Quality and is sub-boarded in child abuse pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics. Giardino has published several textbooks on child abuse and neglect and frequently presents on these and other pediatric topics at conferences around the country.

Jessica Herrera-Flanigan

Executive Vice President, Government & Corporate Affairs
Univision Communications, Inc.

At-Large – Jessica Herrera-Flanigan oversees the UCI Washington, D.C., office, where she leads the company’s federal and state government relations efforts, developing strategies for addressing the key public policy issues impacting the organization and the U.S. Hispanic Community. Previously, Herrera-Flanigan served as a partner at Monument Policy Group, where she advised clients on media, technology, crisis communications and management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Yale University and a law degree from the Harvard School of Law.

Reuben Jones

Executive Director, Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Funding Commission

At-Large – Reuben Jones currently serves as the executive director of the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Funding Commission. Jones previously served as a major general in the U.S. Army where he commanded the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command and oversaw a $3.5 billion non‐appropriated funds program.

Frank Marshall

Principal, The Kennedy/Marshall Company

At-Large – Frank Marshall is an American film producer and director with a career spanning more than 40 years and 75 films.  In 1981, Marshall formed Amblin Entertainment with his wife, Kathleen Kennedy, and acclaimed director Steven Spielberg. In 1991, Marshall and Kennedy launched The Kennedy/Marshall Company of which Marshall has been the sole proprietor since 2012. For over a decade, Marshall was a vice president of the US Olympic Committee; in 2005, he was awarded the Olympic Shield and was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2008 for his service to the Olympic movement. 

Julie Novak

Vice President of Child Safety, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

At-Large – Prior to her current role, Julie Novak held the positions of associate vice president and national director for child safety for BBBSA and served as chief executive officer of the organization’s northwestern Wisconsin branch. She is BBBSA’s leading national expert and spokesperson on child safety and youth protection matters. During her time with the organization, Novak has developed nationwide child abuse, violence prevention and crisis management training.

Megan Ryther

Associate Attorney, Ice Miller

AAC – Megan Ryther earned a gold medal as part of the USA Open Water Swimming World Championship Team and served on USA Swimming’s board of directors from 2010-14. Ryther is an associate attorney at Ice Miller in Indianapolis having previously worked for the NCAA where she oversaw student-athlete eligibility cases.

Connie Smotek

Office Manager, Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension

AAC – Connie Smotek is a two-time Olympian in the sport of shooting and served on USA Shooting’s board of directors from 1995-2001. She also served two terms on the Athletes’ Advisory Council. Smotek currently serves as office manager of the Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension, where she oversees continuing education activities, risk management and contract administration.

Pat Harned

Chief Executive Officer, Ethics & Compliance Initiative

Patricia Harned is chief executive officer of the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI).  The mission of the ECI is to empower members across the globe to operate with the highest levels of integrity. As CEO, Dr. Harned oversees all of ECI’s strategy and operations.  She also directs outreach efforts to policymakers and federal enforcement agencies in Washington, DC and she speaks and writes frequently as an expert on ethical leadership, ethics in the workplace, corporate governance, and global integrity.

The board meets four times a year.