COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced the addition of James Higa to its board of directors. Higa was unanimously voted onto the board during the quarterly meeting on June 17, filling a board seat vacated by Vivek Murthy who resigned the board after being confirmed as the U.S. Surgeon General in March. 

“We are thrilled to welcome James to the board, and we are certain that his breadth of experience and perspective will be a benefit to the board, and to the Team USA athletes and larger Olympic and Paralympic movements,” said USOPC Chair Susanne Lyons. “The board continues to evolve in ways that bring unique skillsets to bear in the interest of the communities we serve.”

Higa brings a wealth of experience in strategic and creative thinking across a variety of industries. Currently serving as the executive director of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation and managing partner of Offline Ventures, Higa also brings experience from over two decades of working with Steve Jobs at Apple and NeXT.

Additionally, International Olympic Committee member, USOPC board member and Olympic champion Kikkan Randall announced that she would be stepping down from her role as an IOC member, and therefore will also be leaving her position on the USOPC board.

“It was a pleasure to have Kikkan on our board as a strong and knowledgeable athlete voice,” said Lyons. “We wish her nothing but the best as she steps away from the board, but know she will always remain an active participant in the Olympic and Paralympic movements.”

With the addition of Higa and departure of Randall, the board now stands at 18 members.

Board members’ biographies can be found here.

The USOPC made significant structural board changes in December of 2020, to include the addition of two new athlete at-large positions, which increased elected athlete representation on the board from three to five and met the recommended threshold of 33%. With the addition of at-large representatives Donna de Varona and Jon Naber, along with Muffy Davis and Daria Schneider in January 2021, the total representation of athletes on the board expanded to eight, including existing members Cheri Blauwet, Anita DeFrantz, Steve Mesler and Brad Snyder.

“I want to extend my sincere thanks to Kikkan for her commitment to the board and our international and domestic Olympic and Paralympic community – she is a champion in every sense of the word,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “At the same time, we welcome James to the board and look forward to working with him, knowing his experience will make our board and our organization stronger.”

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