Brent Nowicki has been named FINA executive director ©FINA

Former Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) managing counsel Brent Nowicki has been announced as the new executive director of the International Swimming Federation (FINA).

Nowicki's appointment was confirmed after the election of Husain Al-Musallam as FINA President at the governing body's Congress in Qatar's capital Doha today.

Al-Musallam said FINA had received "outstanding applications" for the key position, but that Nowicki had stood out from other candidates.

The American lawyer joins from CAS, having joined the tribunal in 2013.

Nowicki served as the head of the CAS Anti-Doping Division for the Olympic Games at both Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018.

He had previously served for seven years as an attorney with the law firm Hodgson Russ.

“I am honoured and humbled by the trust placed upon me to serve as executive director,” Nowicki said.

“For the past 15 years I have had the pleasure to be involved in amateur, professional and Olympic sport.

“First as an attorney and private practice, where I had the great privilege to represent a number of athletes and sports entities in a variety of legal and sports business matters.

“Then as both a coach and athlete for the national team of Switzerland as a lacrosse player.

“And more recently for the past eight years as the managing counsel at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, where my work involved matters of good governance, anti-doping and commercial contract disputes.

“I intend to bring my experience from the law, business world and my passion for sport to FINA."

Brent Nowicki vowed to work with national federations to deliver a
Brent Nowicki vowed to work with national federations to deliver a "first class service" to members ©FINA

“I want you to know that my goal is to be an executive director for every person in this room and online," Nowicki added.

“I will do my very best to implement the decisions of this Congress, the Bureau and executive, as well as working alongside our committees, managing the affairs of the FINA secretariat and balance the interests and voices of the entire FINA family.

“All the disciplines of aquatics; diving, high diving, artistic swimming, water polo, swimming and open water swimming, will remain at the centre of my attention.

“I am committed to working with our national federations, the IOC, ANOC, ASOIF and other sporting bodies to unify our sporting interests.

“Together we will find new ways to grow our sport, provide first class service to all of our members, engage in exciting partnership opportunities and advance our educational and athlete protection programmes.”

Nowicki said he first met Al-Musallam at the Incheon 2014 Asian Games and praised the Kuwaiti official for his work in recent years.

Nowicki will be the permanent successor to Corel Marculescu, who resigned as executive director in March after 35 years in the role.

Marculescu was replaced on an interim basis by his former deputy Marcela Saxlund Medvedev.

Francois Carrard will lead a newly announced FINA Reform Committee ©FINA
Francois Carrard will lead a newly announced FINA Reform Committee ©FINA

The appointment of Nowicki also came as Al-Musallam announced he would launch a series of reform committees to assess potential changes to the governing body.

The reform committees will assess communication, marketing, governance, anti-doping, gender equity, safeguarding, major events and sport development.

The reform committee will be chaired by Francois Carrard, who was previously appointed by FINA in 2016 to undertake a review into all aspects of their corporate governance and propose changes.

Carrard, who is FINA’s legal counsel, will be supported by Britain’s Jack Buckner, Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Hayyan, Uganda’s Moses Benon Mwase, South Africa’s Raymond Hack, Switzerland’s Michele Bernasconi, Australia’s Darren Kane and the United States’ Joseph Degroff.

The reform committee will have overarching responsibility for the overall process, although dedicated committees for each area will be announced later.