Event Partners

Governance Commission


World Sailing continues to make strong progress with its governance review with the appointment of an expert Governance Commission.

Maria Clarke has been appointed by World Sailing as the Independent Chair of the Commission. Maria is a sports lawyer and sports governance expert, who steered through IAAF governance reforms and has recently been appointed as the Independent Vice-Chair of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governance Working Group.

Maria joins World Sailing Vice President Jan Dawson, Philip Baum, Malav Shroff, Sarah Treseder, and Luis Velasco as members of the Commission. Members serve in their personal capacities and not as representatives of other organisations or groups. The Commission has already begun its programme of work and has held in-person meetings in May and September 2018, as well as numerous conference calls.

The Governance Commission was approved at World Sailing's 2017 Annual Conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and is tasked with undertaking an in-depth and wide-ranging review of the governance structure and procedures of World Sailing. From there, they will make recommendations to the World Sailing Board for modernising World Sailing's governance.

The Commission will focus its work on roles, rights and responsibilities between the World Sailing Annual General Meeting, the Council, the Board of Directors, and the various committees and commissions. Complexity and timeliness of the World Sailing decision making processes will be reviewed and the Commission will also propose specific measures for developing best practice in sports governance based on the ongoing work of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations Governance Task Force.

The Commission will consider and recommend changes such as composition, powers, functions and procedures before reporting to the Board and Council in November 2018 with proposed changes. These will be presented in their final form to the Mid-Year Meetings in May 2019 and then put forward for final approval at the 2019 Annual Conference in Hamilton, Bermuda.

The creation of the Governance Commission is in line with World Sailing's two-year governance modernisation roadmap outlined in May 2016. World Sailing's two-year road map focuses on meeting ASOIF's standards and best practice in sports governance.


Maria Clarke

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Maria is the independent Chairperson of the Governance Commission. A sports lawyer and sports governance expert from New Zealand, Maria brings a wealth of experience in reforming governance in international and national sports organisations. She played a pivotal role in the governance and integrity reforms of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Maria is also currently working with the International Paralympic Committee as its Vice-Chairperson of the IPC Governance Review Working Group. In addition to her sports law practice in New Zealand, she holds a number of other roles in sport including as Chair of the Legal Commission of the IAAF, a member of the ANOC Legal Commission and a member of the NZ Olympic Committee's Integrity Committee.

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Philip Baum has a 40 year business career, mostly with Anglo American plc and has extensive international experience in Africa, Europe, North and South America and Australasia in mining, minerals, heavy industry and financial services. He retired from Anglo American plc in 2009 as CEO of its Ferrous Metals and Industries Division and a member of its Executive Committee.

Philip is currently a partner in a private equity firm, Uqalo, specialising in consumer product opportunities in sub- Saharan Africa. He is a past chairman of Nord Gold and Emco Resources and a Trustee the Palaeontological Scientific Trust.

He is the President of South African Sailing, a World Sailing Councillor and a member of the Events Committee.

He is a lifelong sailor, winner of national titles, competitor in world championships in the J22, Finn Gold Cups and World Finn Masters and an off shore sailor including a Trans-Atlantic race and a Sydney Hobart. He currently campaigns the Mark Mills designed Cape 31.

He holds a B.Com, LL.B and a Higher Diploma in Tax Law.

Jan Dawson

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Jan is a Vice President of World Sailing, having been elected to the World Sailing Board in November 2016. Jan was the President and Board Chair of Yachting New Zealand from 2007 to 2013, having joined the Board in 2006. She led the modernization of the governance and related Constitution for the organization during this period and was made a Life Member of Yachting New Zealand in 2014. She represented Oceania (Area L) on the Council of World Sailing from 2013 - 2016 and served on the Events Committee for 8 years. In 2009, she was appointed Chair of the Audit Committee and continues to be a member of the Committee.

Jan is Chair of Westpac New Zealand (New Zealand's second largest bank) and Deputy Chair of Air New Zealand. She is a director of Meridian Energy (New Zealand's largest Energy Company), AIG Insurance New Zealand and Beca Group (professional engineering company with global operations)..

Jan was the Chair and Chief Executive of KPMG New Zealand from 2006 to July 2011, having become a partner of the firm in 1986. She was a Board Member of KPMG - Asia Pacific and KPMG Australia and Councillor of KPMG International during this time. She has over 30 years' of audit and accounting experience in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada, working in both Auckland and Vancouver for KPMG.

Sarah Treseder

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Sarah Treseder is currently the Vice-Chair of the World Sailing Constitution Committee. She grew up in London, and started sailing at a young age with family. She read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University and combined her studies with an active role in the university yacht club, both as Secretary and as a member of the Ladies' team. Her career began with consultants McKinsey & Co. and later moved into local newspapers, becoming Managing Director of Newsquest Buckinghamshire Ltd in 1996. As Sarah developed her career she continued to race in both UK and international events and to cruise in the UK, Mediterranean and Caribbean. In 2000 Sarah joined the global strategy team of drinks multinational Diageo and took an international assignment in Spain as Managing Director of Diageo Canarias SA. Returning to London, she was responsible for the international development of Diageo's £350m luxury Reserve Brands spirits business. Having relocated to Southampton to become Chief Executive of the RYA in February 2010, Sarah has led some substantial governance and strategic changes within the RYA over the past 8 years. She has been a Board director of the British Olympic Association since 2011, and also serves on the BOA Audit Committee. She and her husband enjoy double-handed racing and cruising in their Sigma 33

Malav Shroff

Luis Velasco

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