Mary Davis Named Special Olympics CEO

Mary Davis is the first non-American to head the Special Olympics. (Photo by Jan De Meuleneir / Photonews)

By R. Bryan Willits, Editorial Assistant
June / July 2016

The special Olympics announced the appointment of Mary Davis (below left) as their new chief executive officer, where she will lead the world’s largest global movement for the empowerment of people with intellectual disabilities which currently serves nearly 5 million athletes with intellectual disabilities and holds more than 94,000 competitions each year.

Davis, who is from Ireland, boasts lifelong involvement within the Special Olympics. She has been serving as acting CEO since October 2015, but her appointment as CEO marks the first time in the organization’s history that a person from outside the United States has held the position.

“Mary Davis has been a champion for the rights and inclusion of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities all her working life. She is a proven leader who knows how to envision a goal, craft a strategy for achieving it, and most importantly, lead a team in reaching it,” said Timothy Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics, and nephew of JFK.

“Every position I have held in my nearly 40 years with the Special Olympics movement has prepared me for this role – the role of a lifetime,” says Davis.

“I am honored to take on this role and lead our organization to not only provide high quality sports experiences for our athletes every day around the world, but also engage key influencers and communities to help us create positive attitudes and bring about permanent change towards the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.” ♦

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