USA Rugby Governance Update: January 2019

  • USA Rugby Congress ratify Mike McKenna into transitional seat on Board of Directors. McKenna will enter 45-day transitional period before being fully seated.
  • USA Rugby Congress ratify the full seating of transitional Board members, Jim Brown, Julie Lau, Agustín Pichot and Vice Chair, Paul Santinelli.
  • USA Rugby officially opens application process for Executive Committee. 

LAFAYETTE, CO – Having convened last week and coming out of the 2019 National Development Summit, USA Rugby Congress voted in favor of Board of Directors nominee, Mike McKenna, officially starting the 45-day transitional period with the leadership group. McKenna resides in Weybridge, Vermont as the Founder and Managing Partner of James Farm Creative, LLC. Prior to his current role, McKenna was CEO and Chief Creative Officer with the corporate advertising agency, Marsteller, part of the global PR firm Burson Marsteller. With extensive experience in creative and brand marketing, McKenna’s inclusion with USA Rugby leadership will prove highly influential as rugby looks to grow its visibility in the American sporting landscape. McKenna will remain a transitional member on the Board over the next 45 days, at which point he will become a fully seated member pending second vote of ratification.

“As a former college and club player, I look forward to combining my passion for the sport and professional experience to help further strengthen our great game both here in the United States and within the international Rugby community,” McKenna said.

USA Rugby Congress additionally ratified the full seating of transitional members, Jim Brown, Julie Lau, Agustín Pichot and Paul Santinelli. Lau and Brown are seated to the panel with two, four-year terms available. Pichot fills a vacated seat with three years remaining on a four-year term, and one additional four-year term available. Lastly, Santinelli is voted into a vacated seat with two years remaining on a four-year term and two additional four-year terms also available. Furthermore, Santinelli is appointed Vice Chair to the leadership group. With the recent votes, USA Rugby is now positioned for a potential fully seated Board of Directors by March 2019.


Barbara O’Brien – Chair
Paul Santinelli – Vice Chair
Julie Lau – Director
Jim Brown – Director
Mike McKenna – Transitional Director
Jeremiah Johnson – USA Rugby Congress Representative
Agustín Pichot – World Rugby Representative
Phaidra Knight – International Athlete
Todd Clever – International Athlete

Lastly, each entity within USA Rugby – the National Office, Congress and Board of Directors – officially opened applications for the soon to be formed Executive Committee. This committee will comprise of appointed representatives from each group to correspond regularly and streamline communication between each entity. The committee is otherwise designed around proper representation of the rugby public and its constituents, particularly in the youth, High School, Collegiate, Club and International athlete communities. Given challenges that regularly exist in communication between larger assemblies, these appointed officials will look to properly represent each segment in a focused environment. Outside representatives of each body however are welcome to submit application for inclusion on the committee. The USA Rugby CEO will interview and select the members of the “EXCO”, which require Board of Directors approval.


  • Must be currently active in USA Rugby Congress or within a group with special dispensation, i.e. Club, Collegiate, Referee, etc.
  • Must be available for quarterly meetings.
  • Must meet the requirements to collect and disseminate information, bilaterally.

Please submit your nominations by February 15, 2019.

To apply for the USA Rugby Executive Committee, please visit here.