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Hightower named CEO of Columbus Urban League

USA Track & Field President and Chairman Stephanie Hightower on Tuesday was announced as the new president and CEO of the Columbus Urban League (CUL), becoming the first woman to hold that position. She will assume her new professional duties in mid-August while continuing to serve in USATF’s highest elected post.

“I have always been passionate about occasions to act on behalf of the common good. This leadership role is one of those incredible opportunities that I just couldn’t pass up,” Hightower said of her new position with the CUL. “I look forward to once again becoming a servant leader for the community.”

Hightower will be responsible for managing the Columbus Urban League’s overall operations, maintaining a viable budget and sound fiscal policies, generating funding sources and implementing its long-term strategic plan. She will leave her position as vice president of institutional advancement for the Columbus College of Art and Design, which she has held since 2004. At CCAD, Hightower directed a fund-raising drive that generated $12.5 million for capital improvements and endowment growth. She previously served as president of the Columbus Board of Education.

Hightower in 2008 was elected president and chairman of the board of USATF, and her service also has included being women’s team manager for the Olympic Games and as chairman of various USATF committees. A member of more than a dozen U.S. national teams while a competitive athlete, she held several American and world records and was a member of the 1980 Olympic Team prior to retiring in 1988.

For more on the Columbus Urban League, visit

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