Dr. Donna Lopiano is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation (1992-2007) and was named one of “The 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports” by Fox Sports. The Sporting News has repeatedly listed her as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Sports.” She has been nationally and internationally recognized for her leadership advocating for gender equity in sports by the International Olympic Committee, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports, the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Recent books include Unwinding Madness with Gerald Gurney and Andrew Zimbalist (Brookings, 2017) and Athletic Director's Desk Reference with Constance Zotos (Human Kinetics, 2013).
Dr. Lopiano also served for 18 years as the University of Texas at Austin Director of Women’s Athletics and is a past-president of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. During her tenure at Texas, she constructed what many believed to be the premiere women’s athletics program in the country; twice earning the top program in the nation award. All eight University of Texas sports were consistently ranked in the nation’s top ten in Division I where they earned eighteen national championships in six different sports, produced 51 individual sport national champion athletes, 57 Southwest Conference championships and 395 All-American athletes, dozens among them Olympians and world champions. Ninety percent of women athletes who exhausted their athletic eligibility at the University of Texas received a baccalaureate degree. Prior to Texas, Dr. Lopiano served as an Assistant Professor and Assistant Athletic Director at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Sports Management Program at Southern Connecticut State University.
Recognized as one of the foremost national experts on gender equity in sport, Dr. Lopiano has testified about Title IX and gender equity before three Congressional committees, served as a consultant to the U.S. Office for Civil Rights Department of Health, Education and Welfare Title IX Task Force and as an expert witness in over forty court cases. Dr. Lopiano has also served as a consultant to school districts, institutions of higher education and state education agencies on Title IX compliance and to non-profit organizations on governance and strategic planning.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University, her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Southern California and has been the recipient of five honorary doctoral degrees. She has been a college coach of men’s and women’s volleyball, women’s basketball and softball and coached the Italian national women’s softball team.
As an athlete, Dr. Lopiano 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. She is a member of the National Sports Hall of Fame, the National Softball Hall of Fame and the Connecticut and Texas Women’s Halls of Fame, among others.