Our mission is to affirm the legal permissibility of separate girls’ and women’s competitive sport teams while including all trans girls and trans women under the girls’ and women’s sports umbrella. We reject both the effort to exclude trans girls and trans women from girls’ and women’s sport and the effort to disadvantage females by forcing them to compete against some trans athletes with male sex-linked physical advantages. There is a middle way.
Meet the Working Group
We are a bi-partisan group of former elite athletes and sports administrators with significant experience in women’s sports policy making and LGBTQ advocacy.
Donna De Varona, OLY
Two-time Olympian and double gold medalist in swimming. In 1965, UPI and AP voted her outstanding woman athlete in the world after she set 18 world records and fastest times. She was a sports broadcasting pioneer, the youngest and one of the first women to work in the industry. An Emmy recipient, she used her visibility to advise and advocate for the protection and promotion of Title IX and the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. As the first President and Chair of the Board of the Women’s Sports Foundation, she helped build the organization into a sustainable, influential entity. She has served on five presidential commissions and is a member of the Seneca Falls Women’s Hall of Fame. Currently, she is a member of the International Olympic Committee Communications Commission.
Martina Navratilova, OLY
Former professional tennis player and coach. In 2005, Tennis magazine selected Navratilova the greatest female tennis player for the years 1975 – 2005. She is considered one of the best female tennis players of all time. Over her career, she won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 Grand Slam women’s doubles titles (an all-time record), and 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, for a combined total of 59 major titles, marking the Open Era record for the most Grand Slam titles won by one player, male or female. Coached later in her career by the first trans-woman tennis player, Renée Richards, and long active in LGBTQ rights work and with the women’s tennis tour, Navratilova is particularly well-positioned to contribute to thoughtful policy on the inclusion of trans women/girls in women’s sport.
Donna A Lopiano, Ph.D.
President and founder of Sports Management Resources, LLC, Adjunct Professor of Sports Management, Southern Connecticut State University, former Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation (1992-2007), Director of Women’s Athletics, University of Texas at Austin (1975-1992). President of The Drake Group—an organization focused on academic integrity in college sport. A Title IX sports pioneer, Lopiano specializes in gender equity in the educational and Olympic and elite sports spaces. As an athlete, she participated in 26 national championships in four sports and was a nine-time All-American at four different positions in softball, a sport in which she played on six national championship teams.
Nancy Hogshead-Makar, J.D., OLY
CEO, Champion Women, civil rights lawyer, two-time Olympian, three time gold medalist and one silver in swimming, U.S. National Team for eight years, 12 Halls of Fame, including the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall, 20 years of teaching Sports Law and Administration, current Professor at Rutgers University’s Global Sports Business MS Program. Women’s Sports Foundation – President, 1991-1993, Legal Advisor, 2003-2010, Senior Director of Advocacy, 2010-2014 and recently named to the U.S. Congressional Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics.
CEO, Everything Running, Inc., Founding Board Member, National Scholastic Athletics Foundation. Co-Founder and Director of the National Scholastic (High School) Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field Championships (1984 – Present). Co-Founder, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, at the time the largest running series in the world with over 500,000 participants annually in 29 events in 7 countries (1998 – 2016). Former club and collegiate track coach (including Georgetown, Colorado, and USC), including for over 100 men and women in every event from 15 countries who have represented their country in the Olympic Games or other international competitions. Six-time Olympic Coach and Manager (1972 – 2016). Inducted into Running USA Hall of Champions.
Mariah Burton Nelson, M.P.H.
Pioneering sportswriter and athlete focused on the empowerment of women through sports. Burton Nelson broke stories about pervasive cultural patterns of coach-athlete sexual abuse; football-player rape; and homophobia. She has written seven books, including The Stronger Women Get, The More Men Love Football (Harcourt Brace). She co-authored (with Deborah L. Brake) “Staying in Bounds: An NCAA Model Policy to Prevent Inappropriate Relationships Between Student-Athletes and Athletics Department Personnel.” She played professional basketball on France’s national-championship team and on the New Jersey Gems of the first U.S. women’s pro basketball league (WBL). One Stanford rebounding record was unbroken for 24 years.
Other champion athletes and supporters include: