Former Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has been named Chair of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Future Host Commission, the body responsible for identifying and recommending suitable hosts for the Summer Games.
Grabar-Kitarović was elected IOC member in 2020 and will replace Norwegian Kristin Kloster Aasen who has led the Commission since its inception in 2019 and was a key player leading up to the selection of Brisbane to host the 2032 Olympic Games. Kloster Aasen was forced to step down from the role after her recent election to the IOC Executive Board due to rules barring members from serving on both commissions at the same time.
Spaniard and IOC Member Marisol Casado will fill the vacancy left by Grabar-Kitarović as a regular member of the important commission, a position the new Chair occupied since last year.
The Future Host Commissions, one dedicated to vetting bids for the Summer Games and the other focusing on the Winter Games, are considered high-level bodies that have a considerable influence on the shaping of the future of the Games. These powerful groups were assembled as part of the reformed bid process that eliminated head-to-head bid competitions that were decided by a full IOC vote by about 100 members.
The IOC’s 15 member Executive Board has final say on which preferred candidate is recommended to the membership for rubber-stamp approval.
“Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović will bring rich and diverse skills and experience, including at the very highest levels of government and international relations,” IOC President Thomas Bach said.
“As a member of the same Commission, she has already contributed to the successful delivery of the first election under the new approach to choosing Olympic and Paralympic hosts, with the selection of Brisbane 2032.”
Grabar-Kitarović added “I am grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with potential hosts on Olympic projects, which will help them to achieve their long-term goals for development, public health, sports participation and inclusion.”
“I would like to continue to build on the great work begun under Kristin’s leadership. It is an exciting chance to develop innovative ways to steer the Olympic Games into the future and explore the challenges facing upcoming hosts, such as climate change.”
Grabar-Kitarović’s Commission is currently considering potential hosts for the 2036 Olympic Games and the 2030 Youth Olympic Games, but any final decisions on these events are likely years away.