STEPHANIE HIGHTOWER –President and IAAF Council Member:
Stephanie Hightower was elected President of USA Track & Field in December, 2008, and served as chairman of the board from 2009-2015. Currently serving as USATF President, Vice Chairman of the Board and Vice President of the NACAC region, Hightower in August, 2015, was elected to the IAAF Council. Her 163 votes comprised nearly 80 percent of all votes and made her the highest vote-getter among all Council candidates. In March, 2016, she was appointed by IAAF President Sebastian Coe to chair the IAAF Conflict Resolution Advisory Group.
Hightower brings a wealth of experience to her roles within track & field. In addition to serving as USATF’s Women’s Track & Field Committee Chair, she started her USATF Board service as a member of the Athletes Advisory Committee (ACC) and serving as AAC Secretary and AAC/USOC representative.
Hightower, who was acting USATF Women’s Track & Field Chair at the time of her election to the presidency, serves on USATF’s International Relations Committee and chaired the 2007 CEO Evaluation Committee. The women’s team manager at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Hightower was the U.S. team leader at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Morocco. She was the Chief of the Delegation for Team USA at the 2003 World Outdoor Championships in Paris, served as head team manager at the 1999 World Championships in Seville, Spain, and was an Assistant Manager for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
A resident of Columbus, Ohio, in 2011 Hightower was appointed as president and chief executive officer of the Columbus Urban League (CUL), becoming the first woman to hold the position in the 93-year history of the league. At CUL, she is responsible for managing overall operations, maintaining a viable budget and sound fiscal policies, generating funding sources and implementing its long-term strategic plan. She previously served as vice president for institutional advancement for the Columbus College of Art & Design, where she completed a $12 million comprehensive campaign for scholarships and facility development.
Previously Hightower served as president of the Columbus school board from 2001 until 2005, a $1.3 billion enterprise, and handled communications and development for the Columbus Urban League in her first job out of college in the late 1980s. She currently serves as an advisory officer for U.S. Bank and is a member of multiple education and cultural boards.
A former world class 100m hurdler who competed on more than a dozen U.S. national teams, Hightower held several American and world records and was a member of the 1980 Olympic Team prior to retiring in 1988. As a student-athlete at The Ohio State University, Hightower earned Big Ten Conference, NCAA and National championship titles.
Hightower is CEO of the Columbus Urban League, the first woman to hold the position, and previously was Vice President for Institutional Advancement for the Columbus College of Art & Design.
A former world-class hurdler, Hightower has served USATF in countless capacities, beginning with USATF’s Athletes Advisory Committee and including as USATF women's track & field chair and as team leader, team manager and chef de mission for Team USA at international competitions. During her athletic career, she was named to the roster of 12 national teams, held American and world records in the hurdles, and was a member of the 1980 Olympic Team in the 100m hurdles. As a civic leader in her hometown of Columbus, Stephanie served for five years as President of the Columbus Board of Education. She recently received the Distinguished Service Award from her alma mater, The Ohio State University, currently serves as an Advisory Officer for US Bank and is a member of several education and cultural boards.