US Equestrian (USEF) has appointed long-term US Equestrian employee Hallye Griffin as Director of FEI Sport. Hallye previously served as USEF Dressage Director. This position will now go to Laura Roberts.
Graeme Thom Stepping Down
Griffin will assume the duties of former Director of FEI/High-Performance Sport, Graeme Thom, who has chosen to step away from his role to attend to personal matters.
“Over recent months, I have encountered some evolving personal obligations that are limiting my ability to commit the necessary time in my role as Director of FEI and High-Performance Sport,” stated Thom. “It is out of great respect to the United States Equestrian Federation, the Sport Department, and most importantly, to the athletes that I am stepping aside.”
Griffin, who will also serve as Chef de Mission at the Olympic, Paralympic, and Pan American Games as well as the FEI World Championships, will have plenty of support from Thom, who will be staying on in a consulting role to ensure a smooth transition and to remain a resource as needed.
“I welcome and look forward to staying on over the next few months to assist in special projects with a particular focus on Major Games preparedness,” said Thom.
Griffin, from USEF Dressage Director to FEI Sport Director
Griffin enters the role with extensive experience and deep sport knowledge. The native Kentuckian joined US Equestrian as the Director of National Dressage Programs in 2011, following her role as the Competition Department assistant for the 2010 World Equestrian Games.
She was promoted to Managing Director for Dressage in 2015 (replaying Jenny van Wieren-Page), overseeing both the national and the FEI side of the discipline, which allowed her to hone her management and leadership skills. Griffin managed U.S. Team efforts at two Olympic Games (Rio and Tokyo), which yielded a team bronze and team silver medal, respectively.
Additionally, she has served as Dressage Team Leader through two World Championships, several Nations Cup events, finals, and National Championships, providing leadership, oversight, and support for teams that garnered multiple medals. Griffin’s experience extends beyond dressage, having served as Team Leader for the U.S. Para Dressage and Vaulting teams at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
“I am thrilled that Hallye Griffin has agreed to step into my position. Hallye brings a proven track record from her experience as Managing Director of Dressage and has the respect of all who have worked with her. I am confident that Hallye will do an excellent job and represent the Federation and its athletes admirably,” Thom added.
Griffin will report to and work closely with USEF Chief of Sport David O’Connor, and she assumes her duties as of today.
“I am very enthusiastic about Hallye coming on as the Federation’s Director of FEI Sport,” stated O’Connor. “Hallye’s experience with the Olympic successes that dressage has achieved in these past eight years is a testament to her leadership qualities. Coming up the ladder from within the USEF family places Hallye in a position that will allow for a seamless transition and keep USEF athletes focused on the path toward the 2023 Pan American Games in October and the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer. We are fortunate to have someone with these qualities step into this important role.”
Laura Roberts, USEF Dressage Director
Key to ensuring that smooth transition will be having a trusted member of Griffin’s team fill the position she is vacating. Effective immediately, Laura Roberts will be stepping up to Managing Director of Dressage. Formerly, Roberts served as Dressage Performance and Event Support Director. Roberts has worked under Griffin’s guidance for five years and is well-prepared for the transition.
Griffin is excited about the future and is thankful for the knowledge and experience she has accumulated as she prepares for her new role.
“I have been fortunate to work with a great team at US Equestrian over the last 10-plus years, and I am grateful for the knowledge and experience that has been shared with me,” she stated. “We have busy months ahead readying for the many events on the calendar for the FEI disciplines. We have a strong staff at the US Equestrian office, and we will be working closely on not only the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games but also focusing on the home Olympics and Paralympics – Los Angeles 2028 – which are on the quickly approaching horizon.”
Photo © Astrid Appels
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