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DECEMBER 1-2, 2022 | BOSTON, MA, USA | Conference overview | Registration | Accommodations | Directions | Contact us
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avatar for Karissa Niehoff

Karissa Niehoff

Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Karissa Niehoff has worked in public education and education-based athletics since 1989 as a teacher, coach, athletic director, principal, state association executive director and, since August 2018, as executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). She is the first female chief executive officer of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and only the sixth person in the 101 years of the organization to hold the position on a fulltime basis. Currently, she is the only female chief executive officer among the leaders of the national organizations for high school, college and professional sports.

Prior to NFHS, Niehoff served eight years with the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CAS-CIAC). She began her career in Connecticut public education in 1989 as a physical education instructor at Greenwich High School and was a highly successful field hockey coach at Litchfield High School and Joel Barlow High School with four conference titles and one state championship. Niehoff also coached high school volleyball, softball, basketball and track. In 2000, Niehoff was appointed assistant principal of Har-Bur Middle School in Burlington. Four years later, she assumed the position of principal of Lewis Mills High School, a post she held until joining the Connecticut association.

At the national level, Niehoff has served on the NFHS Board of Directors the past three years, including a term this year as president-elect. She is currently chair of the NFHS Field Hockey Rules Committee and recently completed a term on the NFHS Student Services Committee. Niehoff also served 10 years on the United States Field Hockey Association Board of Ethics and was the field hockey program leader in 1996 at the International Youth Camp during the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Niehoff served on the Education Committee of the United States Olympic Committee, authoring the “OlympiKids School Celebration Guide,” acting as U.S. delegate to International Olympic Academies in Greece and Canada, and representing the USOC at numerous national conventions, conferences and educational programs. She was co-founder and dean of the “Passing The Torch” Academy For Youth Sport Leadership, a USOC initiative to promote leadership and the spirit of Olympism within the realm of youth sport. In 1997, she coached a girls basketball team at the World Scholar Athlete Games, which involved more than 2,000 coaches and athletes from 150 countries.

Prior to joining the Connecticut association, Niehoff served on numerous CAS and CIAC boards and committees, including the Field Hockey Committee, CIAC Board of Control and chair of the Sportsmanship Committee.

Niehoff earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, a master’s from Southern Connecticut State University, a sixth-year degree in educational leadership from Central Connecticut State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Connecticut.