SARAH LEWIS, OBE OLY
My Life and Values
I'm honoured to be acclaimed as a highly respected international sports federation leader, widely-connected throughout the Olympic Movement and sports community, with an extensive global network at the highest levels across these communities.
Frequently invited to speak at major international sports conferences with strong links across all sectors of the sports movement and industry, I enjoy sharing insights with wider society.
I am an Olympian (OLY), having represented Great Britain at the Calgary 1988 Games in Alpine Skiing, which is a cherished memory and and life-changing experience.
As an Olympian I was inspired to embark on a career in sports administration, initially within the ski industry and media before working for the national and international governing bodies.
This evolved to my role 10 years later leading the management of the International Ski Federation (FIS) for 22 years, as its Director and Secretary General until 2020.
Driving the increase for gender equality in the leadership, participation and recognition in international Olympic Sport and is a role model for girls and women striving to achieve their ambitions in sport and society is important to me and I will encourage and support other women's aspirations.
I was born in London, England and have lived in Switzerland since 1994. Married to Jorn, Norwegian, my partner for more than 30 years. The global nature of my background since 15 years old has enabled me to study, participate and attend events and meetings in more than 60 countries on five continents. The next chapter in my life and career has led to the formation of Sarah Lewis Global Sports Leader GmbH, with a focus on global advisory services across international sport.
From nursery school childhood age, I was a sporty youngster across the widest possible spectrum of sports, and for the past 20 years I work out every day for my own personal health and well-being. Since we moved to Solothurn city outskirts, I've committed not to use a car in the city, with my bike providing convenient transport along with exercise and respect of the environment. I'm a passionate football supporter with season tickets to Arsenal for 25 years and I handled the arrangements for Arsenal Women (formerly Ladies) during their inaugural UEFA Cup campaign in 2001 in Bern, Switzerland.
Along with governance values including gender equality, safeguarding - everyone has the right to do sport safely and protected; sustainability - we have a duty to preserve the environment. I am also committed to innovation and the use of technology, and I've invested in and support award-winning start-ups, OnePlan Events and Recast, and served as the lead mentor for the first Global Sports Innovation Virtual Accelerator.
Experience and Executive Positions
2022- Managing Director Sarah Lewis Global Sports Leader GmbH
2021–2022 Chinese Winter Sports Association Senior Strategic Advisor
2021 Candidate for FIS President (link to the candidacy website)
1998–2020 International Ski Federation (FIS) Secretary General (Director 1998-2000)
1994–1998 International Ski Federation (FIS) Continental Cup Coordinator
1990–1994 British Ski Federation Alpine Director
1989–1991 ConsultanSki (own public relations agency)
1981–1989 Apprenticeship / Promotions Manager Kent Schuss Ltd Ski Equipment Importers, London
Professional Appointments and Service
2023- Vice President of the Sustainable Mountain Alliance
2015- Judge of the Leaders in Sport Annual Award
2020- Advisory Board Member of Host City Conference
2014–2020 Secretary General of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federation (AIOWF)
2013–2020 Member of the IOC Programme Commission and Coordination Commissions for the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games: Lausanne 2020, PyeongChang 2018, Beijing 2022, Gangwon 2024, Milano-Cortina 2026
2002–2020 Founding member of the SportAccord Annual International Federation Convention Steering Committee
2008 Chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency Independent Observers at the Beijing 2008 Summer Games
2004–2005 Member of the London 2012 delegation in Singapore that secured the hosting rights for the London 2012 Olympic Games
2003–2004 Member of the WADA Working Group establishing the inaugural International Standards for Testings
Honours / Awards
2022 Nominated as one of eight in the global iSportConnect Influential Women in Sport
2018 Awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to international Skiing
2018 Honorary Professor, Beijing Sport University
2006 Femmes en Or (Women of Gold) award
2020–2022 British Resident's Association of Switzerland, Council Member
2015–2022 British Ski & Snowboard National Foundation, Board Trustee
1983–1988 England Alpine Junior Ski Squad international manager
2021 Institute of Management Development (IMD) in conjunction with Harvard Business School Major: Inspirational Leadership
1980–1981 Ski Étude (Ski Academy) Moutiers, France
1972–1980 City of London School for Girls
English: mother tongue
French and German: bilingual
Italian: very good
Spanish and Norwegian and other Scandinavian languages: good understanding verbally and in writing (husband is Norwegian)
Conversational openings in a series of additional languages from countries hosting Olympic Winter Games and major event since 1998 including China, Korea, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Russia
Contributor to Right To Play for 15+ years
Participant and contributor to numerous institutions and events such as Peace & Sport
Honoured to be personally awarded the OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second at Buckingham Palace in May 2018
At the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games with IOC President Thomas Bach (centre), Executives from the Local Organising Committee (left), FIS Vice President Aki Murasato (right) for the dramatic Finals of the Snowboard Halfpipe event.