Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport – Advisory Board

The Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport boasts a truly impressive advisory board whose members hail from every facet of the industry. Advisory board members serve as guides in developing new academic programs and in ensuring the Tisch Institute curriculum stays relevant as the industry continues to evolve. They also serve as guest lecturers in Tisch Institute classroom and as panelists at Tisch Institute Industry events.

Val Ackerman

Commissioner, Big East Conference

Val Ackerman was named the fifth commissioner of the Big East Conference on June 26, 2013. She was the founding president of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and is a past president of USA Basketball, which oversees the US men's and women's Olympic basketball program.  She has had a long and accomplished career in the sports industry and is one of the few executives in sports who has held leadership positions in both men’s and women’s sports at the collegiate, professional, national team and international levels.

While at the helm of the BIG EAST, Val has presided over the rebirth of the conference following the decision in 2012 of seven then-current BIG EAST schools (DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova) to separate from the original BIG EAST Conference and align with Butler, Creighton and Xavier to form the present configuration.   She led the relocation of the conference office to its current site in New York City and has managed the BIG EAST’s fruitful partnerships with Fox Sports, which provides wall-to-wall coverage annually of BIG EAST men’s basketball on FOX, FS1 and FS2, and with Madison Square Garden, which has hosted the conference’s men’s basketball tournament since 1983.  In 2018, the BIG EAST and MSG entered into a venue agreement extension that will keep the Garden as the home of the BIG EAST tournament through 2028.  In 2019, Val also led the negotiations which resulted in the return to the BIG EAST of the University of Connecticut, one of the conference’s charter members, effective July 1, 2020. 

Gary Bettman

Commissioner, National Hockey League

Gary Bettman, is currently the longest-serving active commissioner in professional sports, having joined the National Hockey League on February 1, 1993. After graduating from law school, in 1977, Bettman joined the New York City law firm of Proskauer, Rose, Goetz and Mendelsohn. Four years later, he was hired by the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he rose through the ranks to become third in command of the league. In 1993, NHL president Gil Stein stepped down and Gary Bettman was hired as the NHL's first commissioner, and given a mandate that included increasing the league's footprint in the United States while serving the team owners.

The NHL has greatly expanded its footprint under Bettman by featuring games, both exhibition and league contests, in various locations outside North America, including Austria, China, Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Northern Ireland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland.

Bruce Buck

Chairman, Chelsea FC

Born in New York and educated at Colgate University and Columbia University School of Law, Bruce Buck has been a Chelsea supporter since coming to London in 1983 and a season ticket holder since 1991.

During his chairmanship of Chelsea, the club has enjoyed the most successful period in its history with the winning of five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, the Europa League and, for the first time by a team from the city he has made his home, the Champions League.

As well as working on the development of the club into a major player on the world football stage, Buck has also devoted energy to the club's history with the founding of the Past Players' Trust which raises money for former players and staff in need of medical or financial assistance.

Gregory Carey

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co.

Robert D. Manfred, Jr.

Commissioner, Major League Baseball

Robert D. Manfred, Jr. was elected as the 10th commissioner in the history of Major League Baseball on August 14, 2014 by vote of the 30 Major League Clubs. He officially became the sport’s leader on January 25, 2015. On November 15, 2018, Club owners re-elected Manfred to another five-year term through the 2024 season.

Since Manfred began as commissioner, MLB reached a new five-year collective bargaining agreement, continuing the sport’s unprecedented era of 26 consecutive years of labor peace through 2021, and a landmark transaction in which The Walt Disney Company acquired a 75% stake in BAMTech, a leading technology platform and video streaming company created by MLB. Manfred has overseen the development of closer relationships with youth baseball and softball organizations and has allocated new resources toward improving MLB’s presence in the amateur ranks. He began MLB’s signature youth participation program, PLAY BALL, a partnership with USA Baseball and USA Softball that encourages both traditional and casual play. PLAY BALL has resulted in meaningful increases in baseball and softball participation, per the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). Over the last four years, baseball has added 2.7 million new participants, a 52.8% increase in casual participation, and overall, baseball saw the highest growth of any major sport. Now with more than 25.6 million participants, baseball and softball combine to be the most participated team sport in the United States.

Leon Wagner

Chairman and CEO, LW Partners