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29 November 2022 | in FISU

FISU announces appointment of Sarah Lewis OBE OLY as Deputy Secretary General & Chief Operating Officer

FISU has strengthened its senior leadership team with the appointment of Sarah Lewis OLY OBE as Deputy Secretary General, who will begin in the new post on 1 January 2023.


The appointment was confirmed at a recent meeting of the FISU Executive Committee, which saw Lewis meet with the federation’s elected leadership, and with representatives from future hosts of the FISU World University Games.


“FISU is delighted to have someone of Sarah’s calibre as a proven leader in sport to join our senior team as we look to the future,” said FISU Acting President Leonz Eder.


“Sarah has valuable experience in all the key areas that are so important to FISU: event management, sourcing host cities, increasing broadcast and commercial appeal, and doing all of this in a sustainable way. I am sure she will make a great and lasting contribution to the way in which FISU and our members provide opportunities in sport and physical activity for students all over the world.”


“It has always been very important to me and to my colleagues in the FISU leadership to ensure the organisation is in good hands as I approach my anticipated retirement in 2025,” added FISU Secretary General and CEO Eric Saintrond.


“Sarah and I have been colleagues in sport for many years. During 2023 and 2024, she will have the opportunity to help lead the delivery of a full two-year cycle of FISU World University Games, FISU World University Championships and FISU World Cups, together with all our institutional meetings, before I I hand over to her after 40 years of activity in FISU and 18 years as SG/CEO.”


A former Team Great Britain skier, having competed at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Lewis will apply the lessons of 20 years as Secretary General of FIS - the International Ski and Snowboard Federation – to her role at FISU. Just days after taking up her post, she will join the FISU team ensuring the safe and successful delivery of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games.


In addition to the competitions featuring thousands of the best university winter sports athletes, the event will include a FISU World Conference on the theme of Save Winter, aimed at addressing the challenge faced by winter sport as a result of climate change.


“I have long admired the work of FISU and have experienced first hand the way its events have served as an important stepping stone towards success for many Winter Olympians. At the same time, it’s clear that international sport is a really valuable life experience for all the university and college students served by FISU and its members,” said Lewis. “I am thrilled to have a chance to contribute to the long-term leadership of an organisation which is clearly so important in helping shape so many young lives.”