Click to Open Search Bar

Val Ackerman

First President of Women's National Basketball Association; Current Commissioner of the "Big East Conference"

REQUEST BOOKING INFORMATION

 Val Ackerman Biography

Valerie B. "Val" Ackerman (born November 7, 1959 in Lakewood Township, New Jersey) is the current commissioner of the Big East Conference. She is best known for being the first president of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), serving from 1996-2005. She is an attorney, sports executive, and former basketball player.

Ackerman was born in 1959 in Lakewood Township, New Jersey, but grew up in Pennington, New Jersey, United States. Her grandfather was director of athletics for the state of New Jersey, and her father was director of athletics at Ackerman's own high school.

Ackerman graduated in 1977 from Hopewell Valley Central High School in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, New Jersey. Ackerman's 1,755 points set the school's varsity basketball career record for points scored by any basketball player, male or female, and she set the school's career scoring record as a halfback in field hockey, topped off by graduating second in her class. In addition to basketball and field hockey, Ackerman also ran on her school's track team. She was inducted into the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1997.

Ackerman graduated from the University of Virginia in 1981, where she was among the school's first female students to receive an athletic scholarship. She was a starter all four years, captain three years, and twice named Academic All-American for the women's basketball team; she was the school's first basketball player to score 1,000 points. She earned her B.A. in Political and Social Thought. In 1997, Ackerman received U. Va.'s Distinguished Alumna Award from the University's Women's Center. In 2003, she was named a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference's 50th Anniversary Women's Basketball Team. Ackerman also earned a law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and worked for two years as a corporate and banking associate at the New York law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Ackerman played professional basketball in France for one season. In 1988, she was hired as a staff attorney for the National Basketball Association and later served as special assistant to NBA Commissioner David Stern, before being promoted to vice-president of business affairs, prior to her appointment to head the WNBA in 1996.

In 1989, Ackerman was one of the NBA's first appointees to the Board of Directors of USA Basketball — the organization responsible for the selection and training of the teams that represent the United States in international tournaments, including both the World Cup and the Olympics. In that capacity, she acted as a liaison between the NBA and USA Basketball regarding the 1992 Olympics, 1994 World Championships and 1996 Olympics. From 1995-1996, she was a driving force behind the creation of the USA Basketball Women's National Team program that culminated with a 60-0 record and the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

On August 7, 1996, Ackerman was named president of the WNBA. Over the course of her historic eight-year term, Ackerman would become the first woman ever to successfully launch and operate a women's team sports league. On February 1, 2005 she stepped down, and Donna Orender was named as her successor; Laurel Richie succeeded Orender in 2011. In April 2005, Ackerman was named to Sports Business Journal's list of "the 20 Most Influential Women in Sports Business."

In May 2005, she became the first female president of USA Basketball for the 2005-2008 term, succeeding Tom Jernstedt from the NCAA, who served from 2000-2004. During her term, she oversaw a restructuring of the USA Basketball Board of Directors, and gold medal performances by the men's and women's basketball teams at the Beijing Olympics.

In 2006, Ackerman was named the U.S. delegate to the Central Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which is basketball's worldwide governing body, and was elected for a second four-year term in 2010. She is also a member of FIBA's Competition Commission. As of 2013, Ackerman serves on the Executive Committee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Board of Directors of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and both the NCAA's Women's Basketball Competition Committee and its Honors Committee. She is a past member of the National Board of Directors of Girls Incorporated, the Board of Directors of the Virginia Athletics Foundation, and the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes.

Also in 2006, she was named a recipient of the NCAA's Silver Anniversary Award, which is awarded to former student athletes who have achieved personal distinction since graduation. In 2008, she received the IOC's Women of Distinction diploma, and the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Since 2009, she has been a member of the adjunct faculty for Columbia University's Master of Science in Sports Management Program, where she has taught Leadership and Personnel Management with Neal Pilson, former President of CBS Sports.

In 2010, she was named an inductee of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2011. In 2011, she was named a Champion in Sports Business by Sports Business Journal. The Women's Sports Foundation named Ackerman one of its "40 for 40" honorees as part of its celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX in 2012. On June 26, 2013, she was named as the commissioner of the Big East Conference, which split from the American Athletic Conference that year. Also in 2013, Ackerman received USA Basketball's Edward S. Steitz Award.

She has also been a contributing columnist for ESPNW.com.

-
FAQs
  • HOW TO BOOK Val Ackerman?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Val Ackerman for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Val Ackerman, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Val Ackerman or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Val Ackerman?

    Booking fees for Val Ackerman, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Val Ackerman, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Val Ackerman?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Val Ackerman for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Val Ackerman for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Val Ackerman or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Val Ackerman or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
Check Availability

Tell us about your event!

During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

Users also viewed these speakers:

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Val Ackerman

First President of Women's National Basketball Association; Current Commissioner of the "Big East Conference"

Travels From:
New York, NY, USA
Speaking Fee:

Val Ackerman Biography

Valerie B. "Val" Ackerman (born November 7, 1959 in Lakewood Township, New Jersey) is the current commissioner of the Big East Conference. She is best known for being the first president of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), serving from 1996-2005. She is an attorney, sports executive, and former basketball player.

Ackerman was born in 1959 in Lakewood Township, New Jersey, but grew up in Pennington, New Jersey, United States. Her grandfather was director of athletics for the state of New Jersey, and her father was director of athletics at Ackerman's own high school.

Ackerman graduated in 1977 from Hopewell Valley Central High School in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, New Jersey. Ackerman's 1,755 points set the school's varsity basketball career record for points scored by any basketball player, male or female, and she set the school's career scoring record as a halfback in field hockey, topped off by graduating second in her class. In addition to basketball and field hockey, Ackerman also ran on her school's track team. She was inducted into the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1997.

Ackerman graduated from the University of Virginia in 1981, where she was among the school's first female students to receive an athletic scholarship. She was a starter all four years, captain three years, and twice named Academic All-American for the women's basketball team; she was the school's first basketball player to score 1,000 points. She earned her B.A. in Political and Social Thought. In 1997, Ackerman received U. Va.'s Distinguished Alumna Award from the University's Women's Center. In 2003, she was named a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference's 50th Anniversary Women's Basketball Team. Ackerman also earned a law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and worked for two years as a corporate and banking associate at the New York law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Ackerman played professional basketball in France for one season. In 1988, she was hired as a staff attorney for the National Basketball Association and later served as special assistant to NBA Commissioner David Stern, before being promoted to vice-president of business affairs, prior to her appointment to head the WNBA in 1996.

In 1989, Ackerman was one of the NBA's first appointees to the Board of Directors of USA Basketball — the organization responsible for the selection and training of the teams that represent the United States in international tournaments, including both the World Cup and the Olympics. In that capacity, she acted as a liaison between the NBA and USA Basketball regarding the 1992 Olympics, 1994 World Championships and 1996 Olympics. From 1995-1996, she was a driving force behind the creation of the USA Basketball Women's National Team program that culminated with a 60-0 record and the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

On August 7, 1996, Ackerman was named president of the WNBA. Over the course of her historic eight-year term, Ackerman would become the first woman ever to successfully launch and operate a women's team sports league. On February 1, 2005 she stepped down, and Donna Orender was named as her successor; Laurel Richie succeeded Orender in 2011. In April 2005, Ackerman was named to Sports Business Journal's list of "the 20 Most Influential Women in Sports Business."

In May 2005, she became the first female president of USA Basketball for the 2005-2008 term, succeeding Tom Jernstedt from the NCAA, who served from 2000-2004. During her term, she oversaw a restructuring of the USA Basketball Board of Directors, and gold medal performances by the men's and women's basketball teams at the Beijing Olympics.

In 2006, Ackerman was named the U.S. delegate to the Central Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which is basketball's worldwide governing body, and was elected for a second four-year term in 2010. She is also a member of FIBA's Competition Commission. As of 2013, Ackerman serves on the Executive Committee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Board of Directors of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and both the NCAA's Women's Basketball Competition Committee and its Honors Committee. She is a past member of the National Board of Directors of Girls Incorporated, the Board of Directors of the Virginia Athletics Foundation, and the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes.

Also in 2006, she was named a recipient of the NCAA's Silver Anniversary Award, which is awarded to former student athletes who have achieved personal distinction since graduation. In 2008, she received the IOC's Women of Distinction diploma, and the John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Since 2009, she has been a member of the adjunct faculty for Columbia University's Master of Science in Sports Management Program, where she has taught Leadership and Personnel Management with Neal Pilson, former President of CBS Sports.

In 2010, she was named an inductee of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2011. In 2011, she was named a Champion in Sports Business by Sports Business Journal. The Women's Sports Foundation named Ackerman one of its "40 for 40" honorees as part of its celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX in 2012. On June 26, 2013, she was named as the commissioner of the Big East Conference, which split from the American Athletic Conference that year. Also in 2013, Ackerman received USA Basketball's Edward S. Steitz Award.

She has also been a contributing columnist for ESPNW.com.

FAQs on booking Val Ackerman

  • How to book Val Ackerman?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Val Ackerman for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Val Ackerman, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Val Ackerman or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Val Ackerman?

    Booking fees for Val Ackerman, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Val Ackerman, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Val Ackerman?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Val Ackerman for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Val Ackerman for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Val Ackerman or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Val Ackerman or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Val Ackerman is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Val Ackerman for your event is available upon request. Val Ackerman generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Katrina Adams, Dominique Dawes, Pamela El, Lisa Leslie and Bonnie Bernstein. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Val Ackerman for an upcoming event.

Tell us about your event!

During normal business hours, we respond to most inquiries within 4 hours.

  • Customized Service

    Our agents find the right fit for your event

  • Unparalleled Database

    Full access to all speakers & celebrities

  • One Stop Shopping

    A reliable and unbiased point of contact

  • Logistics Management

    Your personal Logistics Manager who takes care of all event details

Speakers Similar to Val Ackerman

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

TOP