Advisors and Partners

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Meet our Advisors and Partners

Champion Women advisors include the following distinguished athletes and advocates: Judy Sweet, Donna de Varona, Richard Lapchick, Donna Lopiano, Chris Voelz, Christine Grant, Diane Milutinovich, Erin Buzuvis and Terri Lakowski.

“I have had the honor of working with Nancy on several projects and committees and have always been impressed with, and grateful for, her passion, knowledge, work ethic, integrity and commitment to equity and justice.  Nancy helps heighten awareness of important issues, and then identifies strategies and solutions to address those issues.”

Judy Sweet

Alliance of Women Coaches, Board President, Former NCAA Senior Vice President

“Nancy Hogshead-Makar, founder of Champion Women, has been a tireless advocate for the promotion, protection and support of girls and women in sport. She has redirected the drive, hard work and passion she used to capture three Olympic swimming gold medals during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics to this effort. All of us who have had the privilege of working with her know how important it is she continues to be able to apply her skills to the issues of the time free of conflicts of interest. It is my pleasure to join her as a founding member of Champion Women.”

Donna de Varona

First President and Chairman, Women's Sports Foundation, Two-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, President DAMAR Productions Inc.

“America needs a women’s sports organization with the unique and sole focus of strong advocacy against the inequality of women and girls in sport. Nancy Hogshead-Makar’s Champion Women can be that organization. Nancy is one of my heroes and is a great leader. I am proud to be associated with Champion Women.”

Richard Lapchick

Chair of DeVos Sport Business Management Program, Director, Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, Director, National Consortium for Academics and Sports, Co-Founder, Hope for Stanley Alliance

“There has been a great need for a women’s sports organization whose sole focus is addressing unfairness, discrimination and lack of respect for women in a worldwide sport culture. Champion Women is such an organization and its pledge to pursue social justice as an independent expert force unfettered by the economic or political power of transgressors is critically important. Too many organizations refrain from strong advocacy voices because they fear loss of funding sources or the wrath of powerful players who may be subject to criticism. I’m confident that founder Nancy Hogshead-Makar, an Olympic gold medalist and highly respected sports attorney, along with the experts committed to working on the E&SA team, will always embrace the role of ‘responsible voice’ and a course of ‘right action.’”

Donna A. Lopiano, Ph.D.

President, Sports Management Resources, Former CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation, 1992 – 2007, Awards from International Olympic Committee, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics

“Nancy Hogshead-Makar has the same drive, intellect, work ethic, commitment and sense of competition as an advocate that she had as an Olympic swimmer. Add to that a law degree and an insatiable appetite for fairness and you get one extremely successful advocate. I have had the honor and pleasure of working side by side with Nancy as a colleague and the rare combination of passion, fearlessness and integrity is but one of her many strong skill sets. I am thrilled that Nancy will continue to make a difference in the lives of girls and women and honored to be working with Nancy through an important new vehicle for change, Champion Women.”

Chris Voelz

Executive Director of The Collegiate Women Sports Awards; Athletics Director Emerita, University of Minnesota; Former President of NACWAA

“I have never met a more passionate advocate for gender equity in sports than Nancy Hogshead. Nor have I met an advocate more committed to the creation of an environment that is free of sexual harassment and abuse than Nancy Hogshead. Nancy is the consummate professional who, with her highly qualified team, will work with institutions to develop strategies to achieve true equity in sport. The creation of an organization with a laser-beam focus on equity for women in sport is long overdue and deserves the wholehearted support of all parents who believe in equity for all girls and women.”

Christine H.B. Grant, Ph.D.

Former Women’s Athletic Director, The University of Iowa, Expert Witness in many Title IX lawsuits, President of the AIAW, President of the NACWAA, Selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America, Inducted into the State of Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame, Winner of the Billie Jean King award from the WSF, and the President Gerald R. Ford Award from the NCAA.

“Nancy Hogshead-Makar is a strong advocate for equality and equitable treatment of girls and women in sports. She has used her experience and leadership skills improve the female athletes’ sports experience.”

Diane Milutinovich

Associate Athletic Director Emeriti, Fresno State

“Nancy Hogshead-Makar is a passionate and accomplished advocate for girls and women in sport. Under her leadership, Champion Women will be influential and effective in the movement to overturn barriers to women’s athletic participation that derive from sexual violence and harassment, commercialization of college athletics, challenges to Title IX, intersecting discrimination on the basis of LGBT, race, disability, or class, and other sources.”

Erin Buzuvis

Professor of Law, Western New England University; Director, Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies, Co-Founder, Title IX Blog

Champion Women fills a critical and missing voice to ensure that all girls and women have true equality and meaningful access to sports opportunities. Nancy Hogshead-Makar is the perfect leader to drive this new organization—she is a relentless advocate, brilliant strategist, and committed changemaker on behalf of girls and women in sports.”

Terri Lakowski

CEO, Active Policy Solutions, former Public Policy Director for the Women’s Sports Foundation

Our Story

Champion Women was established in 2014 to advocate for gender equality for  women and girls in sports.

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Champion Women’s Education, Advocacy, Research and Leadership programs are made possible by individual and corporate contributions.

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