JoAnn Neale - Clapping

Major League Soccer president JoAnn Neale receives one of the Women of the Year awards from WISE

Major League Soccer President and Chief Administrative Officer JoAnn Neale is one of four to be honored as the Women of the Year by Women in Sports Events.

Neale will be joined by Susan Cohig, the executive vice president of club business affairs for the National Hockey League, Rosalyn Durant, the senior vice president of college sports programming at ESPN and Elizabeth Lindsey, the president of brands and properties at Wasserman.

The four will be honored at the 26th Annual WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City June 10.

WISE is the leading voice and resource for women in the business of sport.

“Susan, Rosalyn, Elizabeth and JoAnn are outstanding examples of how leaders in our industry can succeed while paving the way for other women,” Kathleen Francis, national board chair and president of WISE said in a statement. “Each of these women has excelled in their positions and have actively created opportunities for women in the business of sports. We look forward to celebrating them in June.”

Neale oversees human resources, social responsibility, player engagement, technology and administration for MLS and leads the league’s long-term business planning and annual planning processes. She spearheads the overall strategy of MLS WORKS, the league’s social responsibility platform, and created the player engagement department, which delivers programs to support player education and engagement and assist with off-field career development and transition.

Prior to joining MLS, Neale spent four years as an attorney at the law firms of Latham & Watkins and Duval & Stachenfeld where she focused on corporate finance and real estate transactions.

Neale is also a member of the U.S. Soccer Foundation board of directors. She was named a Sports Business Journal Game Changer in 2012 and was recognized as one of Adweek’s 2019 Most Powerful Women in Sports, Crain’s New York Business’ 2019 Notable Women in the Business of Sports, and City & State’s 2018 Responsible 100 corporate citizens and leaders. Neale was also honored by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women for her leadership in providing opportunities through sport to underserved girls.