Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Tuesday announced two key appointments to the team, the first since the International Olympic Committee (IOC) virtually guaranteed that the California metropolis will be offered the chance to host the Games next decade.
LA 2024 said Jared Schott will take on the role as Director of International Relations and Assistant General Counsel, and Games operations expert Lenny Abbey will be Director of National Olympic and Paralympic Committee Relations and Operations.
The experience of the two bid newcomers suggests that their roles may continue after the bid transforms into an organizing committee, something that was virtually assured when last Friday IOC President Thomas Bach announced that both Los Angeles and rival Paris could be named hosts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games if the membership votes to approve the plan next month.
Bach’s plan has been to reduce the number of ‘losers’ in the bid process.
Abbey is an Olympic veteran who has worked on five summer and winter Games, and he will communicate LA 2024’s plans for optimizing the Games experience for National Olympic Committees (NOCs), National Paralympic Committees (NPC) and their teams.
LA 2024 says Abbey’s work will ensure that more nations will win more medals than ever before at the 2024 Games, enhanced by his experience working for Local Organizing Committees, a NOC and a NPC.
Abbey was Chef de Mission for the US delegation at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games and most recently served as the Head of NOC and NPC Relations and Services for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee, overseeing the department responsible for representing and liaising with the 206 NOCs and 179 NPCs participating in the Rio 2016 Games, and their 15,000 athletes.
Born in Sudan, Abbey has lived and worked in 10 different countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. He received a BA in Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Schott is Joining LA 2024 from the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice and, before that, the United Nations, within UNMIL’s Rule of Law Pillar. He’ll oversee LA 2024’s strategic outreach to members of the Olympic Family as the bid committee continues to communicate its plans.
Schott will be supported by Andrew Chatzky, who has joined LA 2024 as International Relations Manager after completing a Master’s in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
LA 2024 says it will benefit from Schott’s experience as a special adviser to the Governments of Liberia and Palau, and working with civil society in Kosovo. A native Angeleno, Schott graduated from Stanford University with distinction and interdisciplinary honors from its Center for International Security and Cooperation.
LA 2024 CEO Gene Sykes said “we’re very pleased that Lenny, Jared and Andrew have Followed the Sun to join our team in Los Angeles. The City of Angels has the world-class facilities and public support necessary to deliver extraordinary Games, and their experience and dynamic thinking will help us tell NOCs, NPCs and the IOC the story of what LA can do for the Olympic and Paralympic Movement.”
Abbey said “I am thrilled to be part of a team that is totally dedicated to delivering the best possible experience for NOCs, NPCs and most importantly their athletes – throughout their Games build-up and the Games themselves. Having worked on a number of Games, I’m proud to tell NOCs and NPCs the story of why Los Angeles is the right city at the right time to deliver the conditions their athletes need to make history.”
Schott added “as a native Angeleno, it’s an honor to work on my city’s bid to host the 2024 Games. I grew up seeing the positive, unifying effect the 1984 Games had on our communities, and I am thrilled to be a part of bringing that excitement back to the City of Angels. I believe LA is the right city to host the Games at an important time for the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.”
LA and Paris will present their plans to IOC members at a bid city briefing in Lausanne July 11 and 12, and the IOC will announce the winners of the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games at its Session in Lima, Peru September 13.