COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the hiring of Nicole Deal as its next chief security officer and David Zodikoff as chief information officer. Both positions will report to Kevin Penn, chief of business operations.
“I am thrilled to add Nicole and David to the Team USA family,” said Penn. “With their previous experience and passion for the Olympic Movement, they are well equipped to help Team USA achieve its goals and mission. We are excited to have such strong industry leaders join our team.”
Deal has spent nearly 18 years with the U.S. Department of State, serving as regional security officer in Algeria, Kosovo and Venezuela. In addition, she was the assistant special agent in charge for then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail. She also served as security coordinator at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, and in venue roles at the Athens and Salt Lake Games.
Deal is replacing Chief Security Officer Larry Buendorf, who will retire in early April 2018 after the PyeongChang Games and on his 25th anniversary of service to the USOC.
“With the critical importance of the safety and security of our athletes and delegation at the Games, we are fortunate to have an overlap of both Deal and Buendorf for the next seven months to ensure a smooth transition,” said Penn.
As chief security officer, Deal will oversee all security needs for the USOC, including at its headquarters building in Colorado Springs, and the U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs and Lake Placid, New York. Additionally, she will be responsible for the security of the U.S. delegations at USOC-supported functions and Games.
“It’s truly a dream job,” said Deal. “I am excited to help keep Team USA and the USOC safe – allowing athletes and staff to stay focused on the competitions at hand.”
Deal received a bachelor’s degree from Dillard University and a master’s degree from the Joint Forces Staff College. She relocated to Colorado Springs from Caracas, Venezuela, to begin her duties on July 24.
Meanwhile, Zodikoff joins the USOC as chief information officer after holding the same title with three other organizations – Association Member Benefits Advisors, The Pantry Inc. and Ambrose Employer Group. His 30 years of experience also include serving as global IT director for Whole Foods Market, where he worked for 11 years.
As the USOC’s chief information officer, Zodikoff will work to enhance technology solutions to create organizational efficiencies, as well as to deploy innovative technology advancements to assist U.S. athletes competing at the highest level. Through his leadership, the USOC hopes to advance strategic initiatives around athlete data intelligence, sport technology and analytics.
“In a technology-driven world, the USOC has a great opportunity to grow its use of data analytics and other technologies to better support U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes,” said Zodikoff. “I look forward to the chance to serve the team.”
A New Jersey native, Zodikoff received a bachelor’s degree at Cornell University. Previously based in Austin, Zodikoff relocated to Colorado Springs and started with the USOC on May 8.
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