The Board of Directors of USA Gymnastics (USAG) is pleased to announce the appointment of The Honorable Mary Bono as interim president and chief executive officer of USA Gymnastics effective immediately. Bono will serve in the role until the board identifies a permanent president and CEO.
Bono possesses strong leadership and executive skills. Most recently, she was a principal at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting in Washington, DC, working in the area of legislative strategies and policies. Prior to that, Bono was a well-respected member of the U.S. House of Representatives from southern California for approximately fifteen years, and she was a small business owner.
Bono is a former gymnast who trained in a variety of clubs with several different coaches over 10 years. Additionally, she has championed the protection of youth from the opioid abuse epidemic and was one of the first in Congress to raise this issue to a higher profile. She has won many awards for her efforts, including the "Champion for Drug Free Kids" from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.
“Mary is known to be an outstanding communicator who can coalesce people with differing views and perspectives,” said USAG Board Chair Karen Golz. “Mary is passionate about the sport, and having her as our interim president and CEO will move the organization forward.”
Bono currently resides in Alexandria, VA with her husband, former astronaut Steve Oswald. She is the mother of two children, both of whom learned gymnastics at a local Boys and Girls Club, and the grandmother of two.
“I am delighted to reconnect with the sport that was such an important part of my life growing up,” said Bono. “I look forward to working with the entire gymnastics community during these challenging times to create a safe, supportive and healthy environment where our gymnasts can achieve their fullest potential and our community can thrive.”
As announced in early September, the board has formed a search committee focused on finding a permanent President and CEO. Spencer Stuart, a leading executive recruitment firm, has been retained to handle the search.
Over the past nine months, USA Gymnastics has been in the midst of a major transition as it implements recommendations made by Deborah Daniels in her report, following her independent review of the organization’s safe sport policies and procedures, as well as requests made by the U.S. Olympic Committee. These changes have included amending the organization’s bylaws and the appointment of an entirely new board of directors, made up of eight independent members and seven from within the gymnastics community.
“Most importantly, USA Gymnastics has been focused on athlete safety and well-being and ensuring that programs and protocols are in place to prevent all forms of abuse and to encourage athletes to speak up,” Golz said. “This process has been challenging, but is a necessary step in moving the community forward.”