As Director of Policy and Global Outreach for BlazeSports America, Ann Cody oversees the Washington, D.C. office, develops relationships with major national and international partners, shapes the organization’s policy efforts, and supports the organization’s sport development initiatives overseas. As a Washington veteran and Paralympic sport expert of two decades, Ann has extensive knowledge and experience in sports management and governance, community-based sports, policy and advocacy, international development, as well as governmental and international affairs.
Ann is widely known and respected throughout the world as a leader in sport and human rights. She has led a number of national and international advocacy initiatives on sport with a focus on girls and women with disabilities. Through her leadership, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) established a policy on gender equity and several initiatives aimed at increasing participation by women in Paralympic sport and the movement. Ann’s significant international sport network and project experience anchors BlazeSports’ international programs in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Ann serves on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board and is the highest ranking American and highest ranking woman in the IPC worldwide. She was a member of the International Olympic Committee 2018 Evaluation Commission. Ann holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Science degree in leisure studies and therapeutic recreation from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign. She is a Paralympic Gold Medalist in Athletics and competed on three U.S. Paralympic Teams (Basketball ’84, Athletics ’88, ’92).
Prior to joining BlazeSports Ann served as a Vice President with B&D Consulting where she designed federal affairs strategies for amateur sports, health, and disability-related organizations and provided representation before the United States Congress and the Executive Branch.