Elisabeth Dykens, PhD, at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Is Named to Special Olympics International Board of Directors

December 23, 2010

Dr. Elisabeth Dykens
Dr. Elisabeth Dykens

Special Olympics International has elected three new members to its Board of Directors, including a renowned figure skater, a Special Olympics athlete and a leading scholar in the field of intellectual disabilities. The new Board Members are figure skating champion Michelle Kwan, Special Olympics Canada athlete Matthew Williams, and Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair and Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center; Co-Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities; Professor of Psychology & Human Development, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics.

The Special Olympics International Board of Directors is the ultimate governing authority for the Special Olympics movement and is composed of leaders in the areas of business, government, disability, sports, and entertainment. The Board is responsible for the global affairs and strategies of Special Olympics, determines its policies and programs, and oversees all top-level management. Members are elected to a 3-year term and may be re-elected twice - for a maximum of 9 consecutive years of service.

"The Special Olympics International Board of Directors is an esteemed group of leaders from around the world who represent all aspects of our movement," said Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics International. "The diversity and expertise our new directors bring to the table will propel our movement forward and help enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through the unwavering power of sport."

New Board Members were elected during the recent Special Olympics International Board of Directors meeting. Official terms will begin in January 2011. For a complete list of current Special Olympics International Board Members visit www.specialolympics.org.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to nearly 3.5 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition health screenings, and other related programs. Special Olympics now takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in all regions of the world and in community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood's backyard. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.