Dr. Deborah Antoine Appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation

Published on November 21st, 2016


NEW YORK, NY – November 21, 2016 – The Board of Trustees of the Women’s Sports Foundation today announced the appointment of Dr. Deborah Antoine as the organization’s next chief executive officer. Dr. Antoine will succeed Deborah Slaner Larkin, who is stepping down as the Foundation’s current CEO, as of Jan. 3, 2017.

“The Board and the entire organization are energized and encouraged with the leadership Deborah Antoine is bringing to our Foundation,” said Billie Jean King, WSF Founder and Honorary Board Chair. “Deborah is an individual whose guidance, vision and life of service to the community illuminate the mission of our organization. She is committed to championing social change through sports, and her expertise in organizational development, fundraising and strategic planning makes her uniquely suited to lead the Women’s Sports Foundation.”

Dr. Antoine has 40 years of experience designing, developing and implementing programs that improve the lives of underserved communities, adults and youth. From 2010 to 2016, Dr. Antoine has served as the president and chief executive officer of New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL), the nation’s largest tennis and education program that serves 75,000 children in all five boroughs of New York City. In this role, she oversaw the recently completed $26.5 million capital campaign in partnership with New York City to build NYJTL’s Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in the Bronx.

Throughout her career, Dr. Antoine has focused her efforts on youth education, community development, women’s leadership and equality. In addition to the NYJTL, she has successfully led the growth and sustainability of four other nonprofit organizations: the HOPE Program, the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Per Scholas and PBS Channel Thirteen in New York City.

“I am honored and privileged to lead the Women’s Sports Foundation which has truly transformed the lives of many thousands of girls and women by providing critical opportunities to participate in sports,” said Dr. Antoine. “Our work ahead is as important as ever to ensure that all girls are exposed to sports, and benefit from healthy lifestyles, leadership opportunities, and the social and emotional skills that help to ensure lifelong success.”

Dr. Antoine holds a B.S. in Education from the University of Massachusetts, M.A. in Psychology from Salve Regina University, and Ph.D. in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Antoine’s history of voluntary board service includes Newport Hospital in Rhode Island, AIDS Action International and the National Symphony, Kennedy Center. Her numerous honors and accolades include the Governor’s Award for Innovation (NY), the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the HOPE Program “Inaugural Founders Award”, and “CEO of Distinction” by Smart CEO Magazine. She is an avid tennis player and currently holds a top-10 national USTA singles’ ranking in her age group. In 2013, she was named the USTA Eastern Section “Woman of the Year.”

Under Deborah Slaner Larkin’s leadership, WSF launched signature programs including Sports 4 Life, a grassroots program providing access and opportunity in sports for African-American and Hispanic girls ages 11-18, and Athlete Leadership Connection and Candid Conversations, providing new leadership development programs for champion and student-athletes. WSF also issued the ground-breaking research report “Beyond X’s and O’s,” uncovering gender bias in coaching in collegiate women’s sports and subsequently established the Sports Advocacy Network, a coalition currently tasked with formulating an action plan to address the growing decline of women in coaching.

Slaner Larkin will continue to work with the Foundation on special projects and advocacy-related programs. “Deborah Slaner Larkin’s remarkable tenure as CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation has put us in a strong position as we move forward,” said King. “Her leadership has had a tremendous impact on the growth and evolution of our organization and remains unwavering.”

About The Women’s Sports Foundation
The Women’s Sports Foundation — the leading authority on the participation of women and girls in sports — is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring girls access to sports. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, our work shapes public attitude about women’s sports and athletes, builds capacities for organizations that get girls active, ensures equal opportunities for girls and women through research and Title IX advocacy, and supports physically and emotionally healthy lifestyles. The Women’s Sports Foundation has relationships with more than 1,000 of the world’s elite female athletes and is recognized globally for its leadership, vision, expertise and influence. For more information, visit WomensSportsFoundation.org. Follow us: Facebook.com/WomensSportsFoundation and Twitter @WomensSportsFdn.

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Media contact:
Kelsey Curtis
Zeno Group