Directors

The current USA Board of Directors includes a chairman, five independent directors, two international athlete representatives and a representative of USA Rugby’s Congress.

The board is charged with developing and implementing the annual operational plans and establishing appropriate networks of volunteers and expert advisory groups to assist them in implementing the strategic and operational plans.


Barbara O'Brien

Barbara O’Brien

Chairman of the Board bobrien@usarugby.org

Mrs. O’Brien joins the USA Rugby Board of Directors as a former Lieutenant Governor of Colorado from 2007 to 2011. Shortly after her term on Capitol Hill, where education was her signature issue, O’Brien was appointed president of the Get Smart Schools advocacy group. In 2013, she was also elected School Director of the Denver Public Schools School Board, later earning re-election in 2017.

Prior to becoming Lt. Governor, O’Brien spent 16 years as president of the Colorado Children’s Campaign, a statewide public policy and advocacy nonprofit organization. Her leadership produced major statewide policy initiatives that increased funding for schools, created charter schools, and expanded early childhood education.

As a Colorado local, O’Brien resides just down the road from the USA Rugby National Office.


Jeremiah Johnson

Jeremiah Johnson

Congress Rep to the Board of Directors jjohnson@usarugby.org

Jeremiah Johnson is an organizational process specialist. He currently serves as a Business Analyst for Principal Financial Group where he manages software development teams focused on tools supporting retirement plan compliance.

Jeremiah’s rugby contributions are similarly focused on professionally growing the game of rugby in the United States. Jeremiah joined the USA Rugby Board of Directors in January 2015, serving in the role of Congress Representative. In addition to this role, Jeremiah is currently President of the Midwest Rugby Union, a Director of the Iowa Youth Rugby Association, a referee on the Midwest Territorial Panel for USA Rugby, and the Head Coach of Iowa’s first Varsity rugby team at Southeast Warren High School in Liberty Center, Iowa. He previously served for 10 years as the President of the Iowa Rugby Union and 10 years as a member of the USA Rugby Congress.

Jeremiah began playing rugby for Bremer County RFC while pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He lives with his wife and step-daughter in Des Moines.


Todd Clever

Todd Clever

International Athlete tclever@usarugby.org

Clever was the fourth-youngest capped Eagle at age 20 when he made his debut against Argentina in August 2003. That same year, Clever made his first trip to the Rugby World Cup as a member of the Men’s Eagles, though he did not make an appearance. Four years and 15 caps later, he was selected to the USA’s 2007 Rugby World Cup squad and this time was a full-time starter. In that tournament Clever intercepted a pass against South Africa that set up a famously long try by Takudzwa Ngwenya. In 2008, Clever captained the United States to Churchill Cup bowl win over Georgia and then clinched a 2011 Rugby World Cup birth by winning a home-and-away series against Uruguay. Clever would captain the Men’s Eagles in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. From 2004 to 2009, Clever was also a member of the Men’s Eagles Sevens and made 24 appearances on the World Rugby Sevens Series. Clever broke the record for most international test appearances by an American with his 68th cap against Russia in the summer of 2016. His first taste at professional rugby came in 2006 with North Harbour of the National Provincial Championship in New Zealand. He would later become the first-ever American to play in the Super 14 (Super Rugby), as a member of the South African Lions. Clever would go on to play four years in the Japan Top League (Suntory Sungoliath, NTT Shining Arc) before leaving for the Newcastle Falcons of the Aviva Premiership. Clever is currently a co-owner and strategic partner for the Huns Rugby Management group and plays for the Austin Huns.


Phaidra Knight

Phaidra Knight

International Athlete pknight@usarugby.org

Phaidra Knight is an entrepreneur, lawyer, coach, and media talent. She most recently launched a youth rugby company based in Westchester, NY. As a talent representative, she is involved in the structuring and negotiation of employment contracts, sponsorship activations, and product endorsements for both professional athletes and fitness personalities. She is the Women’s Head Rugby Coach at Monroe College in New Rochelle, NY and the strength and conditioning coach for the Community Olympic Development Program in New York, New York. During her downtime, she commentates and does sideline reporting for USA Rugby/TRC, World Rugby, ESPN3, and NBCSN.

A former USA 7s Team player, Knight is currently competing for a spot on the 2017 World Cup Team that will represent the USA in Ireland later this summer. If successful, this will mark her fourth World Cup. She is one of the most notable names in rugby, having sustained an international career for nearly 18 years. At the conclusion of the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, she was named to the All World Team and in 2010, Rugby Magazine named her the USA Rugby Player of the Decade.

She graduated Alabama State University with a Dual BA in Speech Communications and Political Science in 1996 and the University of Wisconsin School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 1999. She is admitted in Wisconsin.

  • Directors

    Directors

    The current USA Board of Directors includes a chairman, five independent directors, two international athlete representatives and a representative of USA Rugby’s Congress.

    The board is charged with developing and implementing the annual operational plans and establishing appropriate networks of volunteers and expert advisory groups to assist them in implementing the strategic and operational plans.


    Barbara O'Brien

    Barbara O’Brien

    Chairman of the Board bobrien@usarugby.org

    Mrs. O’Brien joins the USA Rugby Board of Directors as a former Lieutenant Governor of Colorado from 2007 to 2011. Shortly after her term on Capitol Hill, where education was her signature issue, O’Brien was appointed president of the Get Smart Schools advocacy group. In 2013, she was also elected School Director of the Denver Public Schools School Board, later earning re-election in 2017.

    Prior to becoming Lt. Governor, O’Brien spent 16 years as president of the Colorado Children’s Campaign, a statewide public policy and advocacy nonprofit organization. Her leadership produced major statewide policy initiatives that increased funding for schools, created charter schools, and expanded early childhood education.

    As a Colorado local, O’Brien resides just down the road from the USA Rugby National Office.


    Jeremiah Johnson

    Jeremiah Johnson

    Congress Rep to the Board of Directors jjohnson@usarugby.org

    Jeremiah Johnson is an organizational process specialist. He currently serves as a Business Analyst for Principal Financial Group where he manages software development teams focused on tools supporting retirement plan compliance.

    Jeremiah’s rugby contributions are similarly focused on professionally growing the game of rugby in the United States. Jeremiah joined the USA Rugby Board of Directors in January 2015, serving in the role of Congress Representative. In addition to this role, Jeremiah is currently President of the Midwest Rugby Union, a Director of the Iowa Youth Rugby Association, a referee on the Midwest Territorial Panel for USA Rugby, and the Head Coach of Iowa’s first Varsity rugby team at Southeast Warren High School in Liberty Center, Iowa. He previously served for 10 years as the President of the Iowa Rugby Union and 10 years as a member of the USA Rugby Congress.

    Jeremiah began playing rugby for Bremer County RFC while pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He lives with his wife and step-daughter in Des Moines.


    Todd Clever

    Todd Clever

    International Athlete tclever@usarugby.org

    Clever was the fourth-youngest capped Eagle at age 20 when he made his debut against Argentina in August 2003. That same year, Clever made his first trip to the Rugby World Cup as a member of the Men’s Eagles, though he did not make an appearance. Four years and 15 caps later, he was selected to the USA’s 2007 Rugby World Cup squad and this time was a full-time starter. In that tournament Clever intercepted a pass against South Africa that set up a famously long try by Takudzwa Ngwenya. In 2008, Clever captained the United States to Churchill Cup bowl win over Georgia and then clinched a 2011 Rugby World Cup birth by winning a home-and-away series against Uruguay. Clever would captain the Men’s Eagles in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. From 2004 to 2009, Clever was also a member of the Men’s Eagles Sevens and made 24 appearances on the World Rugby Sevens Series. Clever broke the record for most international test appearances by an American with his 68th cap against Russia in the summer of 2016. His first taste at professional rugby came in 2006 with North Harbour of the National Provincial Championship in New Zealand. He would later become the first-ever American to play in the Super 14 (Super Rugby), as a member of the South African Lions. Clever would go on to play four years in the Japan Top League (Suntory Sungoliath, NTT Shining Arc) before leaving for the Newcastle Falcons of the Aviva Premiership. Clever is currently a co-owner and strategic partner for the Huns Rugby Management group and plays for the Austin Huns.


    Phaidra Knight

    Phaidra Knight

    International Athlete pknight@usarugby.org

    Phaidra Knight is an entrepreneur, lawyer, coach, and media talent. She most recently launched a youth rugby company based in Westchester, NY. As a talent representative, she is involved in the structuring and negotiation of employment contracts, sponsorship activations, and product endorsements for both professional athletes and fitness personalities. She is the Women’s Head Rugby Coach at Monroe College in New Rochelle, NY and the strength and conditioning coach for the Community Olympic Development Program in New York, New York. During her downtime, she commentates and does sideline reporting for USA Rugby/TRC, World Rugby, ESPN3, and NBCSN.

    A former USA 7s Team player, Knight is currently competing for a spot on the 2017 World Cup Team that will represent the USA in Ireland later this summer. If successful, this will mark her fourth World Cup. She is one of the most notable names in rugby, having sustained an international career for nearly 18 years. At the conclusion of the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, she was named to the All World Team and in 2010, Rugby Magazine named her the USA Rugby Player of the Decade.

    She graduated Alabama State University with a Dual BA in Speech Communications and Political Science in 1996 and the University of Wisconsin School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 1999. She is admitted in Wisconsin.

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