Harvey, most recently FIFA's Director of Development, was the backup keeper on the USA's 1996 Olympic gold medal team during an 8-year national team career in which she earned 27 caps.
Harvey will oversee the WPS's day-to-day operations with a particular focus on league financials, expansion, non-revenue partnerships, player processes and competitions. As part of the oversight of competition issues, Harvey will be responsible for scheduling, day-of-game standards, procedures, match officials and in-stadium experience for league games.
"WPS gains an outstanding A-team player today in the hiring of sports executive Mary Harvey," said WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. "From her start-up and management consulting experience to her senior role overseeing FIFA's global development efforts, Mary has shown steadfast leadership in growing the women's game globally and is highly qualified and experienced in the business of soccer. She will surely have a big impact on the future success of WPS as we prepare for launch in April 2009."
Harvey played college ball at Cal Berkeley, where she earned her undergraduate degree. She received her MBA from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA. After college ball, she played in the Germany's Women's Bundesliga for FSV Frankfurt.
Harvey served on the U.S. Soccer Federation's Board of Directors for 12 years, including five years on the Executive Committee.
She joined FIFA in 2003, becoming the first woman and first American to run a business division as a member of senior management at the international governing body. At FIFA, Harvey oversaw a team of 20 staff and 50 consultants globally to deliver programs and projects to develop the sport worldwide. She also initiated the launch of several projects for the development of women's soccer.
Prior to her position at FIFA, Harvey worked for global consulting powerhouses, Deloitte and Accenture, and was a consultant to the CEO of the 1999 Women's World Cup on issues related to ticketing, pricing and marketing strategies.
"The Commissioner, team owners and league investors have done an incredible job laying the groundwork for this league," said Harvey. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to contribute to all the preparations and planning work that is on-going for the 2009 season and look forward to making the on-field product and game day experience the best it can be come April 2009. I'm excited to get started."