The NBA announced today that Deloitte US CEO and former Lehigh basketball player Cathy Engelbert is the first-ever WNBA commissioner.
Doug Feinberg of the AP previously reported that Engelbert had been named president.
Engelbert has served her first term as CEO of accounting firm Deloitte US since 2015, the first woman in a Big Four professional services firm to do so. The board of the organization nominated a new CEO in December.
It’s been seven months since Lisa Borders stepped down as WNBA president, during which NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum served as interim president and newly-appointed WNBA Chief Operating Officer Christin Hedgpeth announced the picks at the WNBA Draft.
Engelbert was the captain on the Muffet McGraw-led Lehigh team during her college basketball career, and was also captain of the Mountain Hawks lacrosse team.
Engelbert’s accolades include “being named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women three years in a row, [making] Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards list of 50 Highest Rated CEOs, [being] recognized as one of New York’s 50 Most Power Women by Crain’s and [being] named on Working Mother’s 50 Most Powerful Moms.”
Feinberg’s source spoke to AP anonymously, but the league made a public announcement shortly after Feinberg’s initial reporting.
In the official statement from the league, Engelbert said:
It is an absolute privilege to be joining the WNBA at such an exciting and important time in its history. I see tremendous opportunity to bolster visibility for the sport of women’s basketball, empower the players, and enhance fan engagement. I look forward to using my business expertise and passion for basketball to promote women in the game and beyond, and to working with the teams and world-class athletes to help grow this league into a thriving business.
The WNBA regular season tips off Friday, May 24.
This story has been updated to change Engelbert’s title from “president” to “commissioner” and to include her statement about the appointment.