Mollie Marcoux Samaan will become the ninth-ever LPGA commissioner in July, taking over the post from Mike Whan, who is ending a decade-plus tenure to become the CEO of the United States Golf Association.
The LPGA Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve the nomination of Marcoux Samaan, who is the current athletic director for Princeton University.
“The LPGA Commissioner role is one of the best jobs in sports today and the opportunity of a lifetime," said Marcoux Samaan in a release announcing her appointment. "I’m passionate about the game of golf and have been an LPGA fan since I was a little girl. I appreciate the LPGA’s history and the tenacity of its 13 founders. I’m truly inspired by our Tour players and teaching professionals. I’m excited to dive into the LPGA initiatives to impact women and girls in the game at every age and ability. And, to learn about and contribute to all aspects of the LPGA’s business.
“I believe passionately that sports have the power to change the world. And in this moment in time – with the positive energy around women’s sports, women’s leadership and society’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion – I believe the LPGA has an incredible opportunity to use our platform for positive change.
Marcoux Samaan will take over after a period of record growth for the LPGA, with the 2021 schedule featuring 33 tournaments and a record total prize-money offering. She takes over after the LPGA, in conjunction with the PGA Tour, negotiated a new long-term television rights contract that puts the organization in position to further increase purses and distribution.
“Our selection of Mollie Marcoux Samaan as the LPGA’s next Commissioner is the outcome of an extensive and deliberate search process,” said Diane Gulyas, Chair of the LPGA Board of Directors and the Search Committee. "The position attracted a diverse group of outstanding internal and external candidates, all passionate about the LPGA. We concluded that Mollie is the right leader to guide the LPGA’s next chapter of growth, impact and achievement.
“Mollie understands the power of golf to change the lives of girls and women. As a values-centered leader, she’s known for her skills in collaboration, managing through complexity and building a winning team culture. In every role, she’s had an outstanding record of performance in navigating change, forging lasting partnerships, and seeing – and seizing – new opportunities."
Marcoux Samaan, who is a parent of three children with her husband, Andrew Samaan, took up golf at the age 11 on a public course in Ithaca, N.Y., and went to Princeton, where she played soccer and ice hockey. She wrote her senior thesis on the history of women in golf from the founding of the USGA to 1955.
She enjoyed a 19-year career with Chelsea Piers Management, the company that owns and operates Chelsea Piers New York and Chelsea Piers Connecticut, becoming executive vice president of Chelsea Piers Connecticut. In 2014, she came back to Princeton to become that university's athletic director, creating a winning culture and programs that focused on the personal development of athletes.