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University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala Joins Team to Bring FIFA World Cup to United States in 2018 or 2022

NEW YORK (June 17, 2009) – University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, renowned as an agent of reform during her tenure as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 1993-2001, today accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors for the USA Bid Committee in its endeavor to bring the FIFA World Cup to the United States in 2018 or 2022.

In her eighth year as President of the University of Miami, Shalala has more than 25 years of experience as an accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator. In June 2008, President George W. Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Later that year, on July 17, Shalala was named the third and final Independent Director on U.S. Soccer's Board of Directors.

“I’m honored to be associated with U.S. Soccer and look forward to serving the USA Bid Committee and its efforts to bring the FIFA World Cup back to our country," said Shalala. "My work with U.S. Soccer over the years has made me a firm believer in the power of soccer to bring people together and act as a vehicle for social change."

The daughter of Lebanese immigrants, Shalala was the first Arab-American ever appointed to the U.S. Cabinet in her post as Secretary of Health and Human Services. During her time as HHS Secretary, Shalala directed the welfare reform process, made health insurance available to an estimated 3.3 million children through the approval of all State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), led major reforms of the FDA’s drug approval process and food safety system, raised child immunization rates to the highest levels in history, revitalized the National Institutes of Health and directed a major management and policy reform of Medicare.

Shalala also worked with the U.S. Women’s National Team on a successful public health campaign focused on anti-tobacco education.

“I am delighted that Donna Shalala has agreed to join our bid committee,” said Sunil Gulati, the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. “Her leadership and distinguished record of accomplishment in many areas -especially public service, health care and academia- will be valuable in our efforts to bring the World Cup back to the U.S.”

Shalala has held tenured professorships at Columbia University, the City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She served as President of Hunter College of the City University of New York from 1980 to 1987 and as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin from 1987 to 1993. At the University of Wisconsin, Shalala successfully strengthened undergraduate education and the University’s research facilities. She also spearheaded the largest fundraising drive in Wisconsin’s history.

From 1977 to 1980, Shalala served in the Carter administration as Assistant Secretary for Public Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2007, President George W. Bush handpicked Shalala to co-chair with Senator Bob Dole the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors, to evaluate how wounded service members transition from active duty to civilian society.

Shalala has more than three dozen honorary degrees and a host of other honors, including the 1992 National Public Service Award and the 1994 Glamour magazine Woman of the Year Award. In 2005, she was named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2008, she was honored as one of “25 Great Public Servants” by The Council for Excellence in Government which recognized outstanding public servants who have made significant contributions to achieving excellence in government over the past 25 years.

The United States is one of nine candidate nations that have formally declared their desire to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The others are Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia, with joint bids from Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain. Qatar and South Korea have applied only as candidates to play host to the tournament in 2022.

All candidates must have their bids to FIFA by May 14, 2010. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

The USA Bid Committee has issued Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to officials from 37 U.S. cities that currently qualify as potential hosts for FIFA World Cup™ matches in 2018 or 2022. The RFPs request information covering subjects such as tourism, climate, security, transportation, promotion and more. The USA Bid Committee also released a short list of 45 candidate stadiums, including venues typically used for college and NFL football, domed and retractable roof facilities, and stadiums with capacities ranging from 45,000 to more than 100,000.

Shalala joins the Board of Directors of the USA Bid Committee that recently welcomed California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. National Team icons Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger. In the months ahead, the USA Bid Committee will add additional leaders from sports, entertainment, government and business.

The USA Bid Committee’s efforts also recently earned the support of President Barack Obama, who has reached out to FIFA – the world's governing body of soccer – to endorse the efforts to bring the world’s largest sporting event back to the United States. In a letter to FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, President Obama noted the role soccer played in his life as a youth, and its ability to unite people, communities and nations from every continent.

“Hosting another successful World Cup is important for the continued growth of the sport in the United States. And it is important to me personally,” President Obama wrote in his letter. “As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighborhood together. As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago.”

“Soccer is truly the world’s sport, and the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition across the globe,” President Obama added. “That is why this bid is about much more than a game. It is about the United States of America inviting the world to gather all across our great country in celebration of our common hopes and dreams.”

Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for more than 95 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been simple and clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a pre-eminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sport’s growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members. For more information, visit

The USA Bid Committee is a non-profit organization created to prepare a successful application to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2018 or 2022 on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation. The Bid Committee will submit its comprehensive bid to FIFA by May 2010, with FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee making a decision in December 2010. Members of the USA Bid Committee in alphabetical order include former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro, U.S. Men’s National Team player Landon Donovan, Executive Director David Downs, U.S. Soccer CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, U.S. Women’s National Team former player Mia Hamm, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Democratic National Committee National Finance Chair Philip Murphy, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and University of Miami President Donna Shalala.