Ramsey Barker has been named US Figure Skating executive director ©US Figure Skating

David Raith has stepped down as executive director of U.S. Figure Skating and will be replaced by the organisation’s chief marketing officer Ramsey Barker.

Baker had been serving as the acting executive director during Raith’s six-month medical leave, after he underwent cancer surgery in January.

U.S. Figure Skating said Raith would remain involved within the organisation as an advisor to the leadership of Baker and President Anne Cammett, as well as regarding international relations.

"All this was a shock and unexpected," Raith said.

"My doctors believe I am now cancer-free, but the procedure and the extended recovery have taken a toll.

"I love US Figure Skating and have given my heart and soul to the organisation.

"However, with an extremely busy season ahead and the transition to a new board structure next year, I cannot in good faith continue at the pace necessary and fulfil all the responsibilities required of the executive director.

"However, I am excited to continue to contribute to U.S. Figure Skating, and look forward to advising Anne and Ramsey and assisting with our strategy on international matters."

Raith is the longest-serving executive director in U.S. Figure Skating's 100-year history.

He began his tenure as executive director in September 2005 after working on Turner Broadcasting’s Goodwill Games and at CNN.

Raith also spent two years working for USA Track & Field.

Baker has spent 16 years working for US Figure Skating, principally as the senior director of marketing and communications and as chief marketing officer.

The national governing body said Baker has been involved with many key initiatives, including television and media contracts, sponsor development, and rebranding their basic skills programme to Learn to Skate USA.

Baker was involved in the 2011 documentary RISE, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the tragic 1961 US World Team plane crash.

David Raith has stepped down as executive director of US Figure Skating ©Getty Images
David Raith has stepped down as executive director of US Figure Skating ©Getty Images

Baker praised Raith’s work and said his continued support would help to ensure a seamless transition at the top of the organisation.

"I am extremely honoured and grateful to Anne and the entire board of directors for their confidence in me to take on this role at such an important time for the organisation," Baker said.

"Working under David’s leadership for more than 15 years has helped prepare me for this position and his continued mentorship and role as senior advisor will allow for a seamless transition.

"We have an amazing staff that has been extremely supportive of me as the acting executive director over the past six months and the continuity that provides moving forward gives me confidence that the organisation is poised for continued great success."

Cammett claimed the installation of Baker on a permanent basis as executive director ensured ongoing stability for U.S. Figure Skating.

She also offered a tribute to Raith.

"For more than 15 years, David has been the anchor of our staff leadership and organisational initiatives," Cammett said.

"The Board of Directors fully respects David’s decision and we are thrilled he is staying with U.S. Figure Skating and has accepted the role of senior advisor and will continue his important work for U.S. Figure Skating on international matters.

"During David’s recent six-month medical leave, Ramsey has done an excellent job working with staff and leadership.

"He has helped provide stability and continuity during a challenging year dominated by the pandemic.

"We have absolute confidence that Ramsey will help steer the organization through this important Olympic season and our many current and long-range initiatives."