Global Sports

At the Washington Institute, we believe that sports create global and national unity at challenging times, such as the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and economic repercussions. Our mission is to promote youth sports and athletic participation through our various engagements with athletes, leaders, international and civil society organizations to advance ways to strengthen the interaction between the public-private sectors towards that end and to emphasize community values development through sports. We invite you to join our mission to shape the world of sports together.

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Global Sports Conference


September 14th, 2022

One of Washington Institute’s marquee events in 2022 will be to host a global sports conference on September 14th. The conference encompasses the Institute’s three pillars of technology and

innovation, corporate social responsibility, and the global economy. It intends to highlight ethics, security, and infrastructure in global sports, particularly the Olympics and the World Cup, and how they influence the dynamics of business, government, and society through live and virtual events.  

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WI Global Sports Conference 2021 Updated

2021 Global Sports Conference

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Jimmy Lynn

Head of Sports Council

Jimmy Lynn, a veteran of 30 years in the Sports and Entertainment sectors, is one of the pioneers of the Digital Sports space and is regarded as one of the leading relationship brokers and connectors in the global sports industry. He is a co-founder and Vice- President of Kiswe Mobile, the world’s most advanced cloud-based social gamified mobile video platform. Previously, Lynn was the managing partner of JLynn Associates, a global strategic advisory firm focused
on sports-related digital media,marketing, and retail for a diverse set of clients including teams, athletes, leagues and associations, media outlets and other businesses. Lynn is an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and with the Sports Industry Management program in the School of Continuing Studies (SCS). Lynn received the “SCS Dean’s Outstanding Service” award in 2010 and the “SCS Faculty Service” award in 2014. He has a B.A. in Public Communication and an M.B.A. in Marketing from American University.


Lucas Kello, PhD

Sports Council Delegate

Lucas Kello is Associate Professor of International Relations at Oxford University. He serves as Senior Lecturer/Director of the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, a major research initiative exploring the impact of modern technology on international relations, government, and society. He is also co-Director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security at the Department of Computer Science. His publications include The Virtual Weapon and International Order (Yale University Press), “The Meaning of the Cyber Revolution: Perils to Theory and Statecraft” in International Security, and “Security” in The Oxford Companion to International Relations (Oxford University Press).


Emanuel Medeiros

Sports Council Delegate

Emanuel was elected as the first CEO of SIGA on 31 January 2018 after having spearheaded the inception and development of SIGA since November 2015, as Coordinator. Having commenced his career as a lawyer in 1993, he played a leading role in several national and international sports organizations. After six years as Secretary General of the Portuguese Football League, he cofounded and led the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) as CEO for a decade. He was also one of the driving forces behind the creation of the World League Association, having been elected its CEO on February 2012. Emanuel also holds a seat at the European Union’s Expert Group on Good Governance in Sport, since 2011, and, on March 2012, was appointed Ambassador for Sports Ethics by the Government of Portugal. In June 2014, Emanuel was appointed CEO of ICSS EUROPE, currently ICSS INSIGHT. In addition, Emanuel is a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum / PACI’s Advisory Committee, the Consultative Committee of EPAS/Council of Europe and the OECD’s Task Force on
Countering Illicit Trade.”

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Pedro Pinto

Sports Council Delegate

Pedro Mendonça Pinto is a Portuguese journalist. Pedro has an extensive career in media and sports, having spent over a decade as a sports anchor for CNN International based in Atlanta and London, and then taking the role of managing director of communications at UEFA in Switzerland. He is currently founder and CEO of a sports communications agency called Empower Sports. From 2006 through 2013, Pinto covered all of Europe’s major sporting events and interviewed the world’s top athletes as a sports anchor in London with CNN. Over his career into has interviewed many huge international sports personalities such as Ronaldo, Kaká, Robinho, José Mourinho, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Alex Ferguson, Pelé, and Novak Djokovic. He continued to anchor the CNN World Sport show and later also hosted a new football program called CNN FC. Pinto left CNN after 15 years to take the job of Chief of Press at UEFA, working directly with President Michel Platini. He occasionally appears on the popular Guardian football podcast Football Weekly.

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Dame Heather Rabbatts, DBE

Sports Council Delegate

Heather Rabbatts trained as a barrister but made her name as the youngest local authority chief executive and went on to run the London boroughs of Lambeth, Merton, and Hammersmith and Fulham. She was Executive Deputy Chair of Millwall F.C. from 2006 until 2010 and in 2012 she became the first female board member of the Football Association, serving on the Remuneration Committee. Heather has held challenging positions in both the private and public sector. She made headlines when she took over at Lambeth, seen as the worst council in London, and again at Millwall FC. In each case she succeeded in regenerating embattled organizations. She is currently a trustee of the Royal Opera House and is on the boards of Crossrail and the UK Film Council. She has held a number of
senior positions including governor of the LSE and the BBC, and trustee of the British Council.


Hon. Tom McMillen

Sports Council Delegate

Tom McMillen—Olympian, Rhodes Scholar, professional basketball player, Congressman, author, businessman— first received acclaim in high school when he was named the best basketball player in the US, featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. A graduate of the University of Maryland, McMillen was a Rhodes Scholar, played eleven years in the NBA, was a member of the 1972 Olympic team,
served three terms in the US House of Representatives and was co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness and Sports. McMillen currently serves as CEO and President of the LEAD1, comprising 130 of the premier college athletic programs representing over $8 billion in revenue. During his career, McMillen has been an active investor, principal, and board member in many companies, including ten public companies. He was formerly a member of the board of regents of the University of Maryland System and was the Founding Chairman of the National Foundation on Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition (where he currently serves as Treasurer). His book, Out of Bounds, examines the conflicts between sports and ethics.


Chris Curtin

Sports Council Delegate

Christopher N. Curtin was most recently the Chief Marketing Innovation and Brand Officer for Visa, one of the world’s largest multinational financial services companies. In his role, Chris was responsible for many of Visa’s high-profile marketing efforts, including those for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the company’s Super Bowl 50, NFL and FIFA sponsorships. As Chief Brand Officer, Chris led the effort behind Visa improving it’s standing from the20th most valuable brand in the world to the 5th.Chris oversaw the company’s sponsorship of the first-ever Olympic Refugee team which debuted at theSummer Games in Rio De Janeiro. He is a champion of equal rights, and led Visa’s efforts to ensure thatUS Soccer Federation supported the men’s and women’s programs equally and evenly.

Shellie Pfohl

Sports Council Delegate

Shellie Pfohl has spent her career creating and leading impactful programs, policies, and partnerships to improve the health and well-being of people across the United States and around the world.

Shellie is currently serving as a strategic advisor for the Esports Integrity Commission, where she is helping to develop an Esports Safeguarding & Wellness Center. She is also advising various organizations in the areas of sport integrity, safeguarding athletes, sport and social change, female empowerment, health equity, and diversity and inclusion. Shellie previously served as a Special Advisor to the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) and COO for SIGA America. There she developed a plan to implement SIGA’s mission in the U.S. focused on good governance, financial integrity, sports betting integrity and safeguarding athletes in sports.

As the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Center for SafeSport, she led its start-up and rapid expansion to address sexual abuse within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

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Fireside Chats with Sports Executives


Coming up: The Washington Institute Impact Report 2022

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