Gulati in 2006
|President of the United States Soccer Federation|
March 11, 2006
|Preceded by||Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia|
|Vice President of FIFA|
July 30, 1959 |
|Alma mater||Bucknell University
Sunil Gulati (/ / SOO-neel goo-LAH-tee; born July 30, 1959) is the president of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and was on April 19, 2013, elected to a four-year term on the FIFA Council. In March 2014, he was unanimously re-elected to a record third four-year term as USSF president; having been elected initially in 2006 and re-elected again in 2010. Gulati is also a senior lecturer in the economics department of Columbia University. He is the former president of Kraft Soccer for the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer.
Early life and education
Gulati was born in Allahabad, India. His family moved to Connecticut when he was five years old, and he grew up playing soccer. Gulati is an alumnus of Cheshire High School in Cheshire, Connecticut. He graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University and earned his M.A. and M.Phil. in economics at Columbia University. In 1991, he joined the World Bank through its Young Professionals Program and served as country economist for Moldova.
Soccer development service
Elected in March 2006, Gulati is directly involved at the highest level in the development of soccer in the United States. Former USSF president and Major League Soccer founder Alan Rothenberg called Gulati "the single most important person in the development of soccer in this country". Gulati served as United States Soccer Federation (USSF) vice president for six years and played a key role in major USSF decisions for many years prior to his election as president. In February 2010, he was re-elected for another four-year term as USSF president.
In February 2009, Gulati announced that the USSF will bid for the right to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. He chaired the World Cup USA Bid Committee Board of Directors and visited 20 of the 22 member voters on the FIFA Executive Committee. The United States, however, was not selected to host either World Cup. In 2011 he was recognized and awarded the 2011 Trailblazer Award from the Association of South Asians in Media, Marketing and Entertainment (SAMMA) for his outstanding contributions to the world of U.S. sports.
In 2012, Sunil Gulati spearheaded the formation of a new professional women's soccer league in the United States. The previous two attempts to form a women's league by the Women's United Soccer Association and Women's Professional Soccer folded in three years. On October 21, 2012, the USSF, the Canadian Soccer Association, and the Mexican Football Federation made a joint announcement on the creation of a new women's soccer league with clubs playing in Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, New Jersey, western New York, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., Gulati advocated a "sustainable economic model", with the new league having a unique feature of the three federations paying the salaries of their national team players who play in this league.
Career in academia
Because the United States Soccer Federation has a full-time professional staff handling the federation's day-to-day business, Gulati is able to maintain a parallel, full-time career in academia. Sunil Gulati is a senior lecturer in economics at Columbia University, having also previously served on the Columbia economics faculty from 1986 to 1990. At Columbia, Gulati teaches principles of economics, global economics, and sports economics. The sports economics class is often heavily over-subscribed, with students known to camp out overnight to secure a place.
FIFA Executive Committee
Gulati was elected to the FIFA Executive Committee on April 19, 2013 following a narrow 18-17 vote over Mexican Federation of Association Football President Justino Compeán at the CONCACAF Congress in Panama City, Panama. Of the four executive committee meetings in 2013, Gulati attended three of them. The fourth meeting was held before Gulati's election. Gulati was one of several executive committee members to call for the publication of the Garcia Report into allegations of corruption surrounding Russia and Qatar's bids for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.
Gulati lives in the New York area with his wife and two children.
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- Grant Wahl (December 2, 2010). "U.S. rests hopes on tireless Gulati". Sports Illustrated.
- Andrew Das (September 17, 2012). "Gulati Talks About New Women's Coach and New Women's League". New York Times.
- "U.S. Women's League Conference Call Quote Sheet". U. S. Soccer.
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- "Fifa prosecutor Michael Garcia calls for World Cup report to be made public". The Guardian. September 24, 2014. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia
|President of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF)