U.S. Figure Skating announced today that David Raith is stepping down as Executive Director due to health reasons and has accepted a new role as Senior Advisor for U.S. Figure Skating leadership and on international relations. Ramsey Baker, current Acting Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer, has been selected by U.S. Figure Skating’s board of directors to assume the role as U.S. Figure Skating’s Executive Director. The changes take effect immediately.
“For more than 15 years, David has been the anchor of our staff leadership and organizational initiatives,” U.S. Figure Skating President Anne Cammett said. “The board of directors fully respects David’s decision and we are thrilled he is staying with U.S. Figure Skating and has accepted the role of Senior Advisor and will continue his important work for U.S. Figure Skating on international matters.
“During David’s recent six-month medical leave, Ramsey has done an excellent job working with staff and leadership. He has helped provide stability and continuity during a challenging year dominated by the pandemic. We have absolute confidence that Ramsey will help steer the organization through this important Olympic season and our many current and long-range initiatives.”
Raith is the longest-serving executive director in U.S. Figure Skating’s 100-year history. He began his tenure as executive director in September 2005 after a long career with Turner Broadcasting’s Goodwill Games and CNN. He also spent two years with USA Track & Field.
In early January, Raith underwent cancer surgery (Whipple procedure) and immediately began his medical leave.
“All this was a shock and unexpected,” Raith said. “My doctors believe I am now cancer-free, but the procedure and the extended recovery have taken a toll. I love U.S. Figure Skating and have given my heart and soul to the organization. However, with an extremely busy season ahead and the transition to a new board structure next year, I cannot in good faith continue at the pace necessary and fulfill all the responsibilities required of the executive director. However, I am excited to continue to contribute to U.S. Figure Skating, and look forward to advising Anne and Ramsey and assisting with our strategy on international matters.”
Baker has been with U.S. Figure Skating for more than 16 years, principally as the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications and as Chief Marketing Officer. Baker has been involved with many key initiatives, including television and media contracts, sponsor development, rebranding U.S. Figure Skating’s Basic Skills Program to Learn to Skate USA and the 2011 documentary RISE, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the tragic 1961 U.S. World Team plane crash.
“I am extremely honored and grateful to Anne and the entire board of directors for their confidence in me to take on this role at such an important time for the organization,” Baker said. “Working under David’s leadership for more than 15 years has helped prepare me for this position and his continued mentorship and role as Senior Advisor will allow for a seamless transition. We have an amazing staff that has been extremely supportive of me as the Acting Executive Director over the past six months and the continuity that provides moving forward gives me confidence that the organization is poised for continued great success.”
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