(L-R) Tyrone Pillay and Dr. Mike Peters talking at the 2017 Toyota Mobility Summit on Oct. 16, 2017 in Athens, Greece.
The new chief executive officer of the International Paralympic Committee is a former U.S. Paralympic soccer star.
The IPC announced Mike Peters as its new CEO on Friday following a six-month search. He was selected from a pool of more than 180 candidates from across the globe.
The IPC Governing Board was unanimous in its selection of Peters, a longtime veteran of administrative roles in Para sport, as the best person for the job and to “lead the IPC management team into a new and exciting era,” said IPC President Andrew Parsons.
“Mike was the sole internal applicant and was judged against the same criteria as all external candidates,” Parsons said in a new release. “His knowledge, experience and passion for the role and the Paralympic Movement, as well as his vision to transform the culture of the IPC and make the organization more membership focused, placed him head and shoulders above all other candidates.”
During the 1990s and early 2000s, Peters balanced his career as a soccer 7-a-side player with earning a catalog of academic degrees: a bachelor’s in 1992, a master’s in 1995, a Ph.D. in 2001 and then a law degree in 2009.
Since captaining Team USA at the Paralympic Games Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004, Peters has put those degrees to work, holding a variety of roles within Para sport.
Beginning in March 2015, he served as chief of staff and acting director of the membership engagement department for the IPC. He became the organization’s COO in July 2018 and, since March of this year, has served as interim CEO.
Over the course of his post-athletic career, Peters also served for six years on the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s Athletes’ Advisory Council, was an appointed member of the IPC’s six-person Legal and Ethic Committee and worked as a legal officer for the IPC during the Paralympic Games London 2012.
In his new role, Peters will lead the IPC’s management team in Bonn, Germany, while also heading the organization’s global network of classifiers and volunteers.
“As a Paralympic athlete, I witnessed first-hand the ability of the Paralympic Movement to change lives and communities,” said Peters, who is based in Bonn. “It is the privilege of my professional life to lead the IPC and I am very excited about the role and the trust the IPC Governing Board has placed in me. With the IPC celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, it is important to recognize that we are part of a lasting legacy, comprised of immensely dedicated and talented individuals from around the globe. It is also important to recognize this new and exciting era facing the IPC, one that requires a meaningful shift in how we do business.”
Peters follows Xavier Gonzalez, who left in March after serving as CEO since 2004.