Knight Foundation president and CEO Alberto Ibargüen announced leadership and membership changes to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Commission member Pamela Bernard will join Len Elmore and Arne Duncan as a co-chair of the Knight Commission, and Dr. Kimberly Harmon, Amy Huchthausen, and Judy Olian will join as Commission members.
Bernard replaces Nancy Zimpher, who completed her eight-year term, including two years as co-chair, in December. “The Commission is deeply indebted to Nancy for her passionate commitment to good governance and presidential leadership in intercollegiate athletics,” said Ibargüen. “We’re also fortunate to have leaders of Pam’s caliber and expertise ready to step into this role. Pam’s deep expertise in higher education legal issues will be particularly valuable to the Commission at a time when litigation challenges and equity are top issues in Division I.”
Bernard is the Vice President and General Counsel of Duke University. She is a former president of the National Association of College & University Attorneys (NACUA) and received NACUA’s Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to the field of higher education law practice.
The three new Commission members provide additional diversity of experience and expertise. Dr. Kimberly Harmon, a former college athlete is a team physician at the University of Washington and a professor at the University of Washington Medical School. Harmon, a leading researcher on sudden cardiac deaths among athletes and concussion-related issues, was honored by the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) with the society’s 2020 “Founders’ Award” for her contributions to the AMSSM and to the field of sports medicine. Amy Huchthausen, also a former college athlete, served as the commissioner of the America East Conference for a decade before joining Stavvy, a financial technology company, in 2021 where she now serves as COO. Judy Olian, president of Quinnipiac University since 2018, previously served for more than a decade as dean of UCLA’s School of Management.
“College athletics are undergoing a sweeping transition where the intersection of legal, educational, health and safety issues is at a critical juncture,” said Knight Commission Co-Chair Len Elmore. “Pam Bernard’s understanding of the national legal landscape will be invaluable in shaping the Commission’s direction and it will be an honor to serve as co-chair with her.”
Knight Commission co-chair Arne Duncan added: “The appointment of these four highly accomplished leaders from higher education and college athletics who bring a variety of expertise is both welcomed and needed. I look forward to partnering with all four of them as we advance our mission to promote transformational change that prioritizes the education, health, safety and success of college athletes.”
A complete list of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics can be found here.
Pamela J. Bernard
Ms. Bernard is responsible for overseeing a variety of legal issues, including litigation, student and employment issues, health law, research, taxation, insurance, athletics, corporate and transactional matters and liability issues for both Duke University and Duke University Health System. Prior to coming to Duke, she was Vice President and General Counsel to the University of Florida and directed its governing board operations.
Ms. Bernard is a past President of the National Association of College & University Attorneys and was awarded NACUA’s Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to the field of higher education law practice. Click here for full biography
Dr. Kimberly Harmon
Kimberly G. Harmon is a professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and Section Head of the Sports Medicine Section at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is a Past-President of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (2009-2010) and was on the AMSSM Foundation Board from 2011-2022 serving as President from 2019-2020.
She has been at the University of Washington since 1998 serving as team physician for multiple teams and the Head Football Physician since 2012. She was on the NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport Committee from 2003-2007 and has continued to work with the NCAA on medical topics. She has also been involved with the Pac-12 Student Athlete Health and Well-Being Board Initiative as board representative from 2015-2020 and Chair from 2017-2019 during which time she guided the implementation of a conference-wide injury and illness surveillance system (the first of its kind) encompassing over 6,000 athletes from 12 universities which includes over 35 sports. Click here for full biography
Amy Huchthausen is the Chief Operating Officer at Stavvy, a financial technology company building solutions to transform the real estate and mortgage lending industries. She joined the company in August 2021 as its Chief Impact and Culture Officer and transitioned to the COO role after establishing herself as a key asset for the CEO and executive team. In 2022, she was recognized as a HousingWire Insider, representing the top operational all-stars in the housing economy.
Prior to Stavvy, Amy spent over 20 years in the college sports industry. Most recently, she served as Commissioner of the America East Conference for nearly 10 years. During her tenure, she raised the conference’s profile through a progressive strategy focused on the student-athlete experience and by leveraging innovative media and technology partnerships. Click here for full biography
Judy D. Olian, PhD, has served as president of Quinnipiac University since July 2018, an institution with approximately 9000 undergraduate and graduate students, eight professional schools, a College of Arts and Sciences, and 21 Division I athletic teams. The University is in the midst of program expansion and renewal for both traditional and adult learners, attraction of diverse communities, development of innovative corporate partnerships, and construction of an ambitious set of capital projects. Among its distinctions are the Quinnipiac University Poll, deep and broad excellence across the health sciences, and graduates who achieve among the very best employment outcomes in the country.
Before joining Quinnipiac University, Olian served as dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management and John E. Anderson Chair in Management for 12.5 years. Under her leadership, UCLA Anderson hired a record number of faculty, expanded its prestigious Board of Visitors, and raised over $450 million for students and faculty support, innovative programming, and capital improvements. Click here for full biography
About the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
The Knight Commission, founded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 1989, is an independent group that leads transformational change to prioritize college athletes’ education, health, safety and success. The Commission has a legacy of influencing NCAA policies, including the rule that requires teams to be on track to graduate at least 50 percent of their players to be eligible for postseason competition. More recently, the Commission proposed major governance changes in its Transforming the NCAA D-I Model report. For more, visit knightcommission.org.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org.