Lisa Baird, whose sports management experience includes stints at
the National Football League and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, has been named the NWSL's second commissioner.
Jeff Plush stepped down in March 2017, and the commissioner's position has been vacant since then. Amanda Duffy recently left the NWSL, where she served as president, to take a position at the Orlando Pride.
In her role, Baird will be responsible for overseeing all operations for the league and NWSL Media with a focus on growing revenues and audience and elevating the profile of the league globally. She will begin the position on March 10.
Baird joins the NWSL from New York Public Radio, where she served as the chief marketing officer for more than a year. Previously, she was the chief marketing officer for a decade at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. She dealt with the national governing bodies, including U.S. Soccer, on several marketing and media initiatives.
She joined the NFL as the senior vice president of marketing and licensing in 2005. Earlier in her career, she worked for Proctor & Gamble and IBM.
What They're Saying:
-- North Carolina Courage owner (and NWSL executive committee chair) Steve Malik:
“We are thrilled to name Lisa as the Commissioner of the NWSL. Her impressive background at the forefront of sports and commercial business for some of the most iconic properties worldwide will be instrumental to the future success and growth of the league.”
-- Mike Golub, president of the Portland Thorns and member of the commissioner search committee:
“Among the extremely talented finalists we saw, Lisa had the right combination of experience and leadership which immediately captured the board. Lisa’s stellar accomplishments with some of the most successful properties in our industry and her well established reputation as a leading global marketer make her the best person to steward the league’s next phase of growth.”