Debbie Hesse - Executive Director of revamped USA Gymnastics Foundation. USA GYMNASTICS

Veteran Olympic family executive Debbie Hesse was introduced Wednesday as the executive director of the USA Gymnastics Foundation, USA Gymnastics president and CEO Li Li Leung announced at the Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships, where Simone Biles is the main  star.

Debbie Hesse brings a history of expansive organisational growth and impact to her new position. As the executive director of the USA Swimming Foundation from 2010-2019, she oversaw a 350% annual budget increase and a $10 million endowment growth. During her tenure, the Make a Splash initiative expanded to teach nearly two million children to swim each year.

While President and CEO of USA Diving from 2007-2010, membership increased by 39% and the organisation more than doubled its sponsorship and broadcast revenues. Hesse also served as Executive Director of USA Synchronized Swimming from 1994-2001, where she increased the annual budget by more than 250%. She is also the former president and CEO of Special Olympics Indiana and most recently served as assistant vice president of the Texas A&M Foundation, where she raised more than $18 million. 

"We are very fortunate to have Debbie join the Foundation as its Executive Director. Her deep understanding of philanthropy in the Olympic Movement and her incredible track record of success make her a great fit. Success looks different for every athlete, and the Foundation is here to help every athlete's journey. Supporting excellence and well-being will keep the sport on its vibrant growth trajectory," said USA Gymnastics Foundation Board Chair Kristin Allen

Debbie Hesse joins USA Gymnastics Foundation as Executive Director. USA GYMNASTICS
Debbie Hesse joins USA Gymnastics Foundation as Executive Director. USA GYMNASTICS

The USA Gymnastics Foundation was created out of the excitement generated by the success of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and supports the sport of gymnastics while serving as the philanthropic arm of USA Gymnastics. Through charitable contributions and investments, the Foundation and its Board of Directors offer donors the opportunity to support the areas of the sport they are most passionate about. 

"I couldn't be more excited to join the USA Gymnastics Foundation at a time when gymnastics is back in the Olympic spotlight. Providing a pathway for individuals and foundations to support gymnastics and its athletes in a meaningful way is critical to the growth of the sport, from the grassroots to the top of the podium," said Hesse. 

Under his leadership, the Foundation will focus on helping athletes pursue their dreams at all levels of the sport, accelerating the growth of gymnastics nationwide and strengthening the health and safety of athletes.