The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has hired Stephen Whisnant as managing director in its Washington, D.C. office. Whisnant's role will focus on Paralympic fund development and he will report directly to USOC Chief of Paralympics Charlie Huebner.
"Developing new resources for the USOC and Paralympic movement is critical for our growth and long-term success, and I believe we've found the right person to help us in that effort," said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. "Steve has an extensive background in development and is the type of top-flight professional that we need to reach our goals. We're thrilled to welcome him to the team."
Prior to this assignment, Whisnant served as campaign director for the US Institute of Peace's (USIP) $186 million "Building for Peace Campaign." USIP, established in 1984 by an act of Congress as an independent nonpartisan organization, is dedicated to advancing the cause of international peace.
Whisnant also served as vice president of development and investor relations at Venture Philanthropy Partners and has consulted with a number of national and international organizations, providing advice on development plans and operations. He was the senior director of development and nonprofit initiatives as well as consultant to Paul Allen, Jody Patton and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. He also developed long-term fundraising strategies for the Experience Music Project, the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the documentary film division of Vulcan Productions, and the Microcomputer Gallery.
Previously, Whisnant spent 14 years in higher education as a senior development officer and advisor, including 10 years at Harvard University and three years at Davidson College, which included work in alumni relations, major gifts and two capital campaigns. He also gained political fundraising experience as the first-ever executive director of the Presidential and Democratic Party Victory Fund in support of the 1988 presidential race.
During his tenure at Harvard, Whisnant became actively involved in the community service movement, especially among athletes, and in 1993 he opened the doors of World T.E.A.M. Sports, an international sports nonprofit committed to offering rich and dynamic programs to all levels of athletes, especially persons with disabilities. He served as the organization's first executive director for 11 years. The organization received international recognition for its work in advancing educational and medical initiatives through sports events. At this time, Whisnant oversaw the production of four documentary films and numerous award-winning educational curricula. One of these films earned Whisnant an Emmy Award for his role as executive producer of "Vietnam, Long Time Coming."
In addition to serving as chair of Kartemquin Films' Board of Directors, he serves as a trustee for the Women's Sports Foundation, Outward Bound USA, PeacePlayers International and American HigherEducation.com. For his extensive work and commitment to community service he was awarded a Lyndhurst Prize by the Lyndhurst Foundation.
Whisnant has a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina and a master's in education from Harvard University. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Liz, and their son, Max.