Sunil Gulati

Sunil Gulati

Gulati in 2006
President of the United States Soccer Federation
Assumed office
March 11, 2006
Preceded by Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia
Vice President of FIFA
In office
Personal details
Born (1959-07-30) July 30, 1959
Allahabad, India
Nationality American
Alma mater Bucknell University
Columbia University

Sunil Gulati (/ˈsnl ɡˈlɑːt/ SOO-neel goo-LAH-tee; born July 30, 1959) is the president of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and was on April 19, 2013, elected to a four-year term on the FIFA Council.[1] In March 2014, he was unanimously re-elected to a record third four-year term as USSF president; having been elected initially in 2006 and re-elected again in 2010.[2] Gulati is also a senior lecturer in the economics department of Columbia University.[3] He is the former president of Kraft Soccer for the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer.

Early life and education

Gulati was born in Allahabad, India. His family moved to Connecticut when he was five years old, and he grew up playing soccer.[4] Gulati is an alumnus of Cheshire High School in Cheshire, Connecticut. He graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University and earned his M.A. and M.Phil. in economics at Columbia University. In 1991, he joined the World Bank through its Young Professionals Program and served as country economist for Moldova.

Soccer development service

Elected in March 2006,[5] Gulati is directly involved at the highest level in the development of soccer in the United States.[4] Former USSF president and Major League Soccer founder Alan Rothenberg called Gulati "the single most important person in the development of soccer in this country".[6] Gulati served as United States Soccer Federation (USSF) vice president for six years and played a key role in major USSF decisions for many years prior to his election as president. In February 2010, he was re-elected for another four-year term as USSF president.[7]

In February 2009, Gulati announced that the USSF will bid for the right to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. He chaired the World Cup USA Bid Committee Board of Directors[8] and visited 20 of the 22 member voters on the FIFA Executive Committee.[9] The United States, however, was not selected to host either World Cup. In 2011 he was recognized and awarded the 2011 Trailblazer Award from the Association of South Asians in Media, Marketing and Entertainment (SAMMA) for his outstanding contributions to the world of U.S. sports.

In 2012, Sunil Gulati spearheaded the formation of a new professional women's soccer league in the United States.[10] The previous two attempts to form a women's league by the Women's United Soccer Association and Women's Professional Soccer folded in three years. On October 21, 2012, the USSF, the Canadian Soccer Association, and the Mexican Football Federation made a joint announcement on the creation of a new women's soccer league with clubs playing in Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, New Jersey, western New York, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., Gulati advocated a "sustainable economic model", with the new league having a unique feature of the three federations paying the salaries of their national team players who play in this league.[11][12][13]

Career in academia

Because the United States Soccer Federation has a full-time professional staff handling the federation's day-to-day business, Gulati is able to maintain a parallel, full-time career in academia. Sunil Gulati is a senior lecturer in economics at Columbia University, having also previously served on the Columbia economics faculty from 1986 to 1990. At Columbia, Gulati teaches principles of economics, global economics, and sports economics. The sports economics class is often heavily over-subscribed, with students known to camp out overnight to secure a place.[6]

FIFA Executive Committee

Gulati was elected to the FIFA Executive Committee on April 19, 2013 following a narrow 18-17 vote over Mexican Federation of Association Football President Justino Compeán at the CONCACAF Congress in Panama City, Panama.[14][15] Of the four executive committee meetings in 2013, Gulati attended three of them.[16] The fourth meeting was held before Gulati's election.[17][18][19][20] Gulati was one of several executive committee members to call for the publication of the Garcia Report into allegations of corruption surrounding Russia and Qatar's bids for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.[21]

Personal life

Gulati lives in the New York area with his wife and two children.[6]

See also


  1. "US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati elected to FIFA executive committee". The Washington Post. August 21, 2012.
  2. "Sunil Gulati unanimously re-elected as president of US Soccer". Major League Soccer. March 1, 2014.
  3. "COLUMBIA, ECONOMICS : Sunil Gulati: Senior Lecturer (profile page)". Columbia University.
  4. 1 2 Joshua Rohinson) (April 14, 2006). "Economics Professor Seeks U.S. Soccer Model". The New York Times.
  5. "Gulati is acclaimed new USSF president; board size is slashed". SoccerTimes. March 11, 2006.
  6. 1 2 3 Whiteside, Kelly (May 1, 2006). "USSF president Gulati is professor of the pitch". USA Today.
  7. "Sunil Gulati Unanimously Re-elected as President of U.S. Soccer". U.S. Soccer. February 6, 2010.
  8. "U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati And Other Board Members Discuss the USA's 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup Bid". U.S. Soccer. February 2, 2009.
  9. Grant Wahl (December 2, 2010). "U.S. rests hopes on tireless Gulati". Sports Illustrated.
  10. Andrew Das (September 17, 2012). "Gulati Talks About New Women's Coach and New Women's League". New York Times.
  11. "U.S. Women's League Conference Call Quote Sheet". U. S. Soccer.
  12. "USA announces new women's league".
  13. "Soccer-New women's soccer league launched in U.S.". Yahoo! Sports.
  14. Evans, Simon. "U.S's Gulati elected to FIFA executive committee". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  15. "US Soccer president Sunil Gulati elected to FIFA Executive Committee in CONCACAF vote". Major League Soccer. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  16. "Financial Report 2013" (PDF). FIFA. p. 55. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  17. "FIFA Executive Committee Meeting No. 26 Agenda" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  18. "FIFA Executive Committee Meeting No. 27 Agenda" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  19. "FIFA Executive Committee Meeting No. 28 Agenda" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  20. "FIFA Executive Committee Meeting No. 29 Agenda" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  21. "Fifa prosecutor Michael Garcia calls for World Cup report to be made public". The Guardian. September 24, 2014. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
Preceded by
Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia
President of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF)
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