Angela Ruggiero, the chief executive and founder of the Sports Innovation Lab, Olympic gold medal-winning ice hockey player, and former chief strategy officer of the LA 2028 Olympics bid, has been appointed as an independent member of World Rugby’s Executive Committee.
Ruggiero’s appointment comes ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and at a time when rugby union is looking to grow its presence in the US, Ruggiero’s home country.
As an International Olympic Committee member who has previously chaired the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission and sat on its Executive Committee, and currently serves on the Digital and Technology Commission and the Ethics Commission, Ruggiero brings a wealth of experience from across various roles to World Rugby. She will help guide rugby union’s global governing body’s strategic decisions as it looks to continue its international development.
“It is a great honour to be appointed as an independent member on the World Rugby Executive Committee and I am looking forward to using my experience to help guide the decision-making process in what is a dynamic and growing global sport,” Ruggiero said in a statement given to World Rugby.
“This is an important time for rugby and sport more generally, and I am particularly excited about what rugby has to offer for all young people around the world. Through the Executive Committee I hope to help further a sustainable blueprint to ensure that the sport is attractive, innovative, and accessible to all.”
Ruggiero won her Olympic gold medal in 1998, and is the all-time record appearance-maker for Team USA in ice hockey having played 256 times for the national team.
Last year, she appeared the SportBusiness Summit in Miami, speaking about the impact sports betting would have on athletes and the technology sector following its legalisation in the US.