Director of D&I
United States Olympic Committee
Headquarters: Colorado Springs, CO
CEO: Sarah Hirshlands
D&I DIRECTOR JASON THOMPSON Shares His D&I Views
“As the only large sports organization in the United States committed to athletes with disabilities and to women on an international level in a variety of sports, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has the unique opportunity to create synergies between sports and diversity. Our Olympic and Paralympic teams reflect a diversity that few countries can match. Not only does the USOC support a diverse group of awe-inspiring Olympians and Paralympians, it is also engaged in a global movement to unite cultures, races, and religions in the spirit of competition and peace.”
A Decade of Impact
“With the recent announcement of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to Los Angeles, the USOC has an unprecedented opportunity to impact sport and diversity in the United States. Although Los Angeles has hosted the games before, 2028 will mark the first time the city will host the Paralympic Games. This will allow the USOC to raise the visibility of Paralympic sport and the accomplishments of people with disabilities. In addition, the LA 2028 bid team made diversity a central piece of its proposal and has committed to focusing on the youth of LA’s diverse communities.”
Earning Gold in 2017
“In 2017, the USOC began mandatory unconscious bias training for directors and above, and created new staff trainings and workshops that have increased staff participation by 200 percent.
“The Qualified Underrepresented Applicant Directive (QUAD) hiring pilot program was formed to encourage diversity in the hiring pool and create a level playing field for candidates.
“Over 35 D&I Best Practices were compiled for publication and distribution to national governing bodies that work in conjunction with the USOC.
“The LGBTQ ERG was created to foster equality, respect, and safety for all employees, athletes, and other constituents, without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.”
The Plan for 2018
“The USOC’s LGBTQ curriculum will be expanded as part of FLAME (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere, the longest running pipeline-development program for students of color interested in pursuing careers in the Olympic and Paralympic movements). We are also developing strategies to expand youth sport participation, and diversity will be a major component of that program, when recommendations are presented in 2018.
“The USOC is planning to host the first Women in Sport Symposium (WINS)—a program designed to increase the number of women in coaching and sport administration positions, and raise the visibility of this issue nationwide.”