Beyond Sport’s Board of Directors are committed to dedicating their time, experience, voices and networks to support our goal to use sport to bring communities together and reduce the inequalities that are so prevalent around the world. It is our absolute honor to have these leaders - spanning business and sport for social change - as part of the Beyond Sport family.
Learn more about them below and view their full bios here.
“I believe in effecting social change through the vehicle of sport anywhere in the world where change, and the hope that it brings, is needed. That is a message and a mission that resonates with me.”
Jean is Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager for The New York Yankees. She is only the third female to hold an Assistant GM position in Major League Baseball history.
The grandchild of immigrants for whom social justice was always a focus, Jean is extremely passionate about ensuring equal treatment for women and girls, and particularly admires the advocacy of the women of the WNBA. She hopes to use her knowledge and experiences to listen, learn and meaningfully respond to the voices for change in the world.
On sport with intention, Jean believe that the body always follows the mind. “We see it in professional sports where athletes take the field every day, overcoming the physical stress and strain on their bodies, through a strong and committed mind. We see it with children, where sport provides such necessary physical activity; even more than that, where children first learn about working together as a team, about cooperation, and yes, they learn how to win and more importantly, they learn how to lose.
Watching sports creates common ground, playing sports creates common ground. And extending this commonality off the field and recognizing that we may all be different, but there is something that we can share and where we are not “the Other” to each other --- this should be the intention of sport, and its goal. Otherwise, we are all just tossing the ball around the infield.”
“Sport with intent is about proactively using the power of sport to create social change, with a view to creating meaningful impact. For me, that is what Beyond Sport is all about.”
David has been an international sports and entertainment lawyer for nearly 30 years, advising high profile clients across both sectors. Growing up in a divided South Africa, he witnessed first-hand the unifying power of sport when the 1995 Rugby World Cup changed the country. Since then, sport for social change has always been part of both his work and personal life.
He has worked with Beyond Sport for more than a decade and as an active sportsman and sports lawyer, David has always been conscious of sport’s ability to create change. Currently, he is most passionate about leveraging sport to address gender equality and mental health issues. The former because he recognizes how the sport industry has failed women, and the latter as an outcome of his work as a mental skills coach.
David believes that it is vital to empower and supporting the projects on the ground that are not necessarily high profile. “The projects that fight day in and day out to stay alive, despite the good work that they are doing. It is these projects that we need to celebrate and support, because their work requires great courage and commitment, often in very difficult circumstances.”
“Sport for change does not happen when you just throw a ball in the middle of two conflicting groups. It only works when sport is used purposefully – with methodology, with strong leadership, with role models, with community ownership, with a goal and an outcome in mind. To me, this is what we mean when we say sport with intention.”
Lex is the Director of Community Engagement and World Cup Legacy for the Qatar Foundation, where she leads on projects that will use Qatar 2022 to enable disruptive education, sustainability, innovation and social progress.
Having been with Beyond Sport since its inception, most recently having served as Managing Director (including for sister agency, thinkBeyond), she is now honored to support on ways to strategically increase and improve organizational impact as a Board Member. Lex hopes to use her experiences in Qatar and her new challenges, learnings and understandings, to further move away from westernized perspectives and biases.
Women’s and girls’ rights, empowerment and support have always been among her greatest passions, and she whole heartedly believes that sport is one of the most amazing catalysts to trigger change for gender equality. Lex believes that young people, especially, are leading the way.
“It is young people who are making change in their communities, standing up for what they believe in and endeavoring to make a better life for themselves and those around them. The new Beyond Sport Youth Advisory Board showcases that resilience and inspiration. To me it’s those individuals who are getting it right and we as large organizations and entities need to support them and lift them up.”
“True sport with intention unfolds with small steps locally. It is that rather than grand schemes that will make the most impact.”
Michel is the Chairman of Capital Generation Partners and Executive Director of Heineken Holding HV. From 1998 until he retired in 2021, he was Vice Chairman of Citi Investment Banking, EMEA. He is also a three-time Winter Olympian for Britain in skiing and luge.
Promoting women in the workplace is of primary importance to Michel, and he hopes to use his personal and business relationships to help promote and fundraise for Beyond Sport.
“Sport has always been a large part of my life and the opportunity to give back in the arena of sport, while also helping in more deprived areas was the perfect combination.”
“Sport fuses together passion, teamwork, effort, collaboration, education and perspiration to achieve one’s goals. A great TEAM achieves great things!”
John is the Executive Vice Chairman for DAZN Group, the live and on-demand streaming service. With a career spanning more than 25 years across multiple industries, his expertise encompasses international media, rights, marketing and distribution.
Both personally and professionally, sport has unlocked many opportunities for John, and he hopes to leverage his experiences to further Beyond Sport’s goals. He feels that a strong partnership ethos, where everyone understands each other’s goals, creates win/win solutions that can lead to amazing results.
In the world of social change, he is passionate in the belief that creating opportunities will help to reduce inequality in society.
“Sport creates heroes. But behind them are extensive communities that have helped them achieve their dreams, tackling whatever obstacles are in their way. I am in awe of any individual that sacrifices their time for the benefit of another person – people like Brian Foley, Marcus Rashford and Doug Cameron to name a few.”