The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced today that Dr. Richard W. Cohen has been named Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors. Cohen succeeds founding board member and previous Chair, Dr. Lawrence S. Brown, Jr., who is retiring after serving the organization for 11 years, including one as Chair. Cohen, who is also a member of USADA’s founding board, has served as Vice Chair since 2003.
Joining Brown in retirement from the USADA Board of Directors, are Barry Axelrod and Dr. Andrew Mecca, both of whom have served the board since 2000. Both Axelrod, who served as the board’s Treasurer, and Mecca, are founding board members whose commitment and dedication to the organization’s growth have made a lasting impact on both the global anti-doping movement, as well as the countless athletes who compete fairly and clean.
As part of this transition, USADA is also pleased to welcome new board members Dr. Richard Clark, Dr. Jim Kooler, John Bardis and Marcia Lee Taylor. These new board members bring a variety of expertise to the USADA board, including background in the medical field, knowledge of non-profit management, involvement with Olympic sport organizations, commitment to community engagement, familiarity with drug prevention and awareness, as well as an understanding of anti-doping programs.
“Saying goodbye to three of our founding board members in Dr. Brown, Dr. Mecca and Mr. Axelrod is difficult considering their contributions in leading the organization from its start,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart. “Their commitment and steadfast devotion to clean athletes and the integrity of sport has been an immeasurable part of growing USADA into one of the world leaders in the anti-doping community. Looking forward, we are assured of the organization’s continued success under the guidance of Dr. Cohen and enthusiastically welcome new board members Dr. Richard Clark, Dr. Jim Kooler, Mr. Bardis and Ms. Taylor.”
With Cohen’s election to the position of Chair, current board member and Olympic great, Edwin Moses takes on the role as Vice Chair. Carl Swenson, a three-time Olympian and member of the USADA board since 2007, will serve as Treasurer, replacing Axelrod.
Current USADA Board of Directors
Richard W. Cohen, MD – Chair
Edwin C. Moses – Vice Chair
Annette Salmeen, DPhil – Secretary
Carl Swenson – Treasurer
Richard Clark, MD, PhD
Jean Fourcroy, MD, PhD, MPH
Don L. Gambril
Jim Kooler, DrPH
Marcia Lee Taylor
Richard W. Cohen, MD, Chair
Dr. Richard Cohen is the current Chair of the Board of Directors and a founding member of the USADA Board. He became Vice Chair of the USADA Board in April 2003. He is a former member of the Doping Control Commission for both USA Weightlifting and the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, and chaired the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games Doping Control Commission. Cohen is an orthopedic surgeon, and is a Medical Director and chair of both the Ethics Committee and the Adult Total Joint Restoration program at the Wellstar Health System in Atlanta. In addition he is a surveyor for The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Hospitals.
New USADA Board of Director Members
John Bardis founded MedAssets in June of 1999, and has been the Company’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer since its inception. Bardis has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Beginning with American Hospital Supply and Baxter International, he held various senior management positions, including Vice President of the Baxter Operating Room Division and General Manager of the Eastern Zone. Bardis left Baxter in 1987 to join Kinetic Concepts. Kinetic Concepts, a NASDAQ traded company (KNCI) was the nation’s largest specialty bed and medical equipment rental company at the time of his departure as President in 1992. From 1992 to 1997, Bardis was President and CEO of TheraTx Inc, another NASDAQ traded company (THTX) which was a leading provider of rehabilitation services and operator of skilled nursing facilities. In 1995, TheraTx was named the second fastest growing public company in America by INC. Magazine, growing from $15mm to over $500mm in 5 years. Bardis was named Entrepreneur of the year by INC Magazine in 1995.
Bardis graduated with a BS in Business from the University of Arizona. He serves on the board of USA Wrestling, the National governing body for amateur wrestling, is the founder of Hire Heroes USA and is Chairman of the Atlanta Fire Youth Hockey Club. Bardis was also named Team Leader of the U.S. Greco-Roman Wrestling Team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and served as Team Leader in the 2007 World Championships where Team USA won the world team title for the first time in wrestling history.
Richard Clark, MD, PhD
Dr Richard V. Clark is with GSK Research and Development, Director of Discovery Medicine in the Metabolic Therapeutic Area. He received his MD and PhD at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Dr. Clark conducted clinical practice and research in Endocrinology and Metabolism at both Emory University and Duke University Schools of Medicine before joining GSK. He is a former president of the Andrology Society of America, and he was recently a guest editor for a special doping research issue of the journal Steroids. He has served on the USADA ADRB, has assisted with special case interpretations, and served as an expert witness.
Marcia Lee Taylor
Marcia Lee Taylor is the director of government relations for a national non-profit, The Partnership at Drugfree.org. Taylor worked as a staffer on Capitol Hill for 11 years and was the senior drug policy advisor on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs. During her time on Capitol Hill, Taylor worked on many important pieces of legislation including the Drug Addiction Treatment Act and the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004.
Jim Kooler, DrPH
As the Administrator for the California Friday Night Live Partnership, Dr. Kooler provides leadership and support to 54 county Friday Night Live programs in California. He also leads the California Center for Youth Development and Health Promotion. From his office at the Tulare County Office of Education, with support from the State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, the Office of Traffic Safety and the Office of Problem Gambling, he leads the implementation of Friday Night Live, Club Live, Friday Night Live Kids, Friday Night Live Mentoring and the California Youth Council. He is the “Creative Wizard” for the Lifeplan Institute, Director of the Be The Change Movement with Challenge Day, and directing the creation of the California Mentoring Partnership. A strong ally to young people, Dr. Kooler has worked in the prevention field for 27 years. He previously was the Director of the Governor’s Mentoring Partnership and Deputy Director for the Prevention Services Division at the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs.
USADA is the non-profit, independent and non-governmental entity responsible for the testing and results management process in the U.S. for athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic Movement, upholding the Olympic ideal of fair play, and representing the interests of athletes. USADA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs. The agency manages a drug reference phone hotline and Global Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as curricula, themed brochures and nutrition and dietary guides, easy-reference wallet cards for the prohibited substance list, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference publications, all of which can be found at www.USADA.org.
For more information or media inquiries, click here.