USA Rugby appoints Tamara Sheppard as General Manager of High Performance

Tue, Sep 26, 2023, 4:32 AM
by Calder Cahill.

Following an extensive executive search and review of over 50 quality applicants, USA Rugby today announced the appointment of Tamara Sheppard as General Manager of High Performance.

Sheppard comes to USA Rugby after five years serving as High Performance Director with Swimming Australia, leading the world class organization across both men’s and women’s high performance programs. Since first entering the sports management world with Queensland Rugby in 2004, Sheppard has broad proven experience in developing gold medal caliber teams, implementing effective human resource practices and providing strategic consulting to a range of sport governing bodies. Most notably, architecting one of Swimming Australia’s most successful Olympic campaigns ever during the Tokyo games in 2021. Sheppard will relocate to the United States and join USA Rugby headquarters in Colorado. 

USA Rugby CEO, Ross Young said on the appointment, “We have been overjoyed while evaluating and onboarding Tamara for this all-important role. We quickly discovered during our discussions that she is very purpose driven, determined and strategically focused; qualities this position requires as we look ahead to the most crucial decade for USA Rugby High Performance, national teams and pathways.”

Sheppard said on assuming the role, “It is an exciting period for USA Rugby with a home Rugby World Cup for both the men and women, and the LA2028 Olympics all being staged in our backyard. I am truly excited to lead the USA High Performance team and stakeholders to build robust programs and deliver exceptional results on and off the pitch.”

Sheppard initially began her career in rugby with Queensland Rugby Union as a State Administration Manager, facilitating strategic planning and competition development across the region of a similarly large market. Tamara brings a range of experience with sports governing bodies, Basketball and Netball in addition to swimming, developing culture and designing effective operating models across both men’s and women’s programs. With increasing activities throughout USA Rugby High Performance Pathways and benchmark years in 2028, 2031 and 2033 for the USA Senior National Teams, Sheppard’s record of success in strategically building championship structures and people leadership will be welcomed qualities. 

Sheppard concluded on first initiatives and goals for High Performance going forward, “From the start, I am looking forward to working with all our coaches, athletes and staff to improve my understanding of the USA Rugby landscape across high performance and development pathways. I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to create and promote structures that nurture talent and build sustainable international success.”