July 15 – James Johnson, who heads the Professional Football Department at FIFA, has been shortlisted by Leaders and the Aspire Academy for the second annual Leaders under-40 awards, the global search for the best talent in the business of sport under the age of 40. In other words, the next generation of decision makers.
Johnson, who played in the Australian side that made the final of 1999 World under-17 Championship, has been with FIFA since May 2013 when he joined as a Senior Manager of Member Associations & Development. Prior to that he worked at the Asian Football Confederation as a Director of International Relations and Development.
The awards, created by Leaders and Aspire Academy, celebrates individuals that are transforming the future of sport across several different categories: Marketing & Communications; Sales; Digital & Technology; Leadership and Entrepreneurship.
Johnson, a trained lawyer, is regarded as the new breed of manager at FIFA in the light of the ongoing corruption scandal and is understood to have handled a number of delicate issues as part of the reform process. He is also a keen supporter of the women’s game.
Altogether 780 nominations were received over a nine-month period followed by a rigorous selection process. The winners will be announced at an awards dinner on October 4, the evening before the Leaders Sport Business Summit.
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