The current USA Board of Directors includes a chairperson, 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

Chair of the Board

Barbara O'Brien has been involved in rugby in multiple ways since 1970. She started as a fan watching her future husband play in college, recruited youth players, including her two sons, and gained experience marketing rugby by creating the first fundraising event for the high school team and communicating the culture of rugby to parents and youth new to the sport. As Lt. Governor of Colorado, O'Brien promoted the sport of rugby as a statewide priority, including hosting the welcoming reception for the consulates and coaching staff of the international teams participating in the 2009 Churchill Cup held in Glendale, CO. Because the national office of USA Rugby is located in Colorado, O'Brien has had the opportunity to work with USA Rugby CEOs over two decades to help build youth rugby at the state and local level. O'Brien has attended rugby matches across the U.S., Europe and South America for the past forty years and has observed the global evolution of the sport and the potential of American rugby.

O'Brien joined the USA Rugby Board of Directors as an At-Large member in 2017 and was elected the interim chair in 2018. She was also elected to the Board of Education for Denver Public Schools in 2013 and was re-elected 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. She has received numerous awards for her work to improve the health and education of children and has been appointed to numerous state and national commissions by four governors of Colorado.

As a Colorado local, O'Brien resides just down the road from the USA Rugby National Office. She is married to an outside center and is the mother of a fullback and a wing.

Paul Santinelli

Transitional Director

Paul Santinelli is an entrepreneur and current rugby player who has been involved in and playing rugby for 30 years. He completed the 2018 campaign as a starting front row and co-captain of San Francisco Golden Gate's D2 Men's Club, with two appearances with the club's Pacific Rugby Premiership side. He is currently the president of San Francisco Golden Gate RFC and board member of the San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Foundation. Prior to rejoining SFGG, Paul was on board of directors & treasurer of Colusa County RFC, served as secretary for the Northern California Rugby Football and served as an advisor to the NCRFU and union liaison to the Northern California Pelicans Referee Society.

Paul has been an operating executive in the technology sector for 26 years. During that time, he has held CEO, CTO and VP roles as several high profile companies including companies such as Global Crossing and Red Hat. He has been a repeat entrepreneur and has led M&A transactions and served on private company boards in a variety of capacities including compensation and audit committees.

Since 2005, he has been a general partner at Northbridge, a technology focused venture capital firm As a general partner, he has the responsibility of investing and managing investments with proper governance, compliance and board oversight.

Jeremiah Johnson

USA Rugby Congress Representative

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.

Julie Lau

Julie Lau


Julie Lau is a Managing Director at the global Big 4 public accounting firm, KPMG LLP, and played rugby for over 15 years at the college, club, and select-side levels. As a leader in KPMG's US Independence Group, Julie manages threats to the auditor independence. She has an extensive expertise in auditing, accounting, and risk management.

Julie fell in love with rugby while attending the University of Virginia, where she was an all-American hooker. After college she continued her rugby career with the Washington DC Furies, playing competitively on both the 7s and 15s sides. Julie served in many leadership roles for the club and played an important role in the Furies becoming a founding member of the Women's Premier League. She also represented her local area union and the Mid-Atlantic RFU in many 7s and 15s tournaments and won the 2010 USA Rugby National All-Star Sevens Championship.

Julie graduated from the University of Virginia in 2001 with a BS in Commerce and a concentration in Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant in Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington D.C. She currently resides in Lincoln, MA.

Agustín Pichot

World Rugby Representative

Born in 1974, Pichot is the World Rugby Vice-Chairman and played international rugby at scrum-half for his native Argentina from 1995 until 2008, winning 71 caps and scoring 12 tries. He captained Los Pumas to third place at Rugby World Cup 2007 in France. In 2010 he was named to the Team of Decade honors by Rugby World Magazine. Pichot was integral to the improvement and standard of rugby in Argentina, eventually leading to the national team's inclusion in The Rugby Championship since 2012.

Since retiring from playing, Pichot has grown as an entrepreneur and moved into rugby administration. He revolutionized Argentina rugby, becoming later, the union's representative on World Rugby Council in 2012 and a member of World Rugby Executive Committee in 2015. He is currently president of Rugby Americas and assumed the role of World Rugby Vice-Chairman in 2016. He was inducted into the prestigious World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2011.

Pichot is married to his wife Florencia and has two daughters.

Jim Brown


Brown lives in Park City, Utah, and is a Principal at JBC International. He has managed and advised multiple international sporting events, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, as well as the United States bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. His strengths in commercial licensing, broadcast media, and the technology are highly welcomed by USA Rugby in the development of union event management, as well as marketing and communications. He played rugby abroad as a young man and has a great desire to work with USA Rugby.

Todd Clever

International Athlete

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

International Athlete

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.