David Raith Hired As Executive Director Of U.S. Figure Skating

U.S. Figure Skating Executive Director David Raith

(8/31/2005) - U.S. Figure Skating is pleased to announce the hiring of David Raith as executive director of U.S. Figure Skating. Raith has extensive background in both the television industry and the Olympic arena that includes involvement with the Goodwill Games, CNN Sports and most recently, as the director of events and broadcasting at USA Track & Field. He will begin his position with U.S. Figure Skating on Sept. 14.

“U.S. Figure Skating is delighted that David Raith is joining us as executive director,” said U.S. Figure Skating President Ron Hershberger. “David brings a wealth of knowledge from the Olympic and NGB world as well as television programming and production. From his recent management of USA Track & Field television properties and championship events to his long-time oversight of Turner Broadcasting's Goodwill Games sports programs – including its figure skating competitions – David has unique talents to work with the volunteer leadership and staff members of U.S. Figure Skating as we head into the Olympic Winter Games and beyond.”

Raith will be responsible for the day-to-day leadership and management of U.S. Figure Skating. He will oversee an operating budget in excess of $13 million annually while managing the policies, programs and goals of the association as approved by the Board of Directors.

“I am honored and excited to accept the position of executive director of U.S. Figure Skating,” Raith said. “The organization has a long and rich tradition. I look forward to working with the many U.S. Figure Skating volunteers and staff members to maintain and build upon the competitive excellence of the organization's programs and athletic accomplishments.”

Raith has more than 25 years of experience in the sports industry, including comprehensive work in international event management, marketing, and television programming and production. His background includes involvement with the sport of figure skating at five Goodwill Games in three different countries. He led the organization of the ISU-sanctioned competition “Centennial on Ice” in February of 1996 in St. Petersburg, Russia, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first World Figure Skating Championships staged in the city in 1896. He also oversaw the professional figure skating event organized as part of the Winter Goodwill Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., in 2000.

“I have worked with the sport of figure skating extensively through the Goodwill Games and am very well acquainted with the sport and its key constituents,” Raith said. “As the executive director of U.S. Figure Skating I will establish a strong and cohesive staff and volunteer partnership while overseeing the policies, programs and goals of the organization as approved by its Board of Directors.”

Raith worked at USA Track & Field from 2003-2005, overseeing all major events, including the 2004 Olympic Track & Field Trials, the USA Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships and USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series. These events generated more than 15 national broadcasts on NBC and other networks.

Before his time at USA Track & Field, Raith served as the vice president of sports for the Goodwill Games. He was responsible for event and television scheduling, athlete participation, and operational aspects of up to 24 different sports. With figure skating alone he worked extensively with athletes, coaches, judges and volunteer leadership.

Raith's considerable television background also includes five years at the Cable News Network (CNN) beginning at its inception in 1980. From 1980-1985 he helped establish CNN Sports as an anchor, coordinating producer, “Sports Tonight” producer and producer of “The Games of '84,” daily coverage leading up to and during the 1984 Olympic Winter and Summer Games.

A St. Louis native, Raith graduated in 1980 from the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism. He and his wife, Leslie, have two daughters: Sydney and Jaime.