Clarke has been with the New York Liberty for over a decade in several roles, most recently as Chief Operating Officer.
The New York Liberty made a move in the front office on Thursday, naming Keia Clarke the team’s new Chief Executive Officer.
“I am very excited about my new role at the Liberty,” Clarke said in a team statement. “We have an opportunity to bring world-class basketball to fans, starting with games at the Barclays Center that will enable a fan experience no one has seen in the WNBA. The league is at a key inflection point and I look forward to playing a part in elevating professional women’s basketball to national prominence.”
Clarke has been with the Liberty since 2010. According to the statement, Clarke’s duties as CEO will have her “lead and manage all business aspects of the Liberty organization”. She is expected to work closely with general manager Jonathan Kolb and Liberty Alternate Governor Oliver Weisberg.
The New Jersey resident and Canisius alumna has also been named to the WNBA’s Social Justice Program Social Justice Council described by the league as “a collaborative cohort including players, league senior management, and team leaders to develop a long-term WNBA social justice platform”. Free agent newcomer Layshia Clarendon is also part of the council, which league commissioner
Clarke played a major role in the Liberty’s scheduled move to Barclays Center, where they’re expected to play their home games in 2021 and beyond. She also helped set up the Liberty’s local television deal, as YES Network became the team’s flagship station last year.
“Keia has an incredible ability to combine strategic thinking, operating excellence and a focus on people and talent,” said Liberty owner Joe Tsai. “These qualities, plus her unassuming leadership style, will take our Liberty franchise to the next level.”
The Liberty are currently stationed at IMG Academy at Bradenton with the rest of the WNBA for an isolated 2020 season. They’ll help open the proceedings on Saturday afternoon against the Seattle Storm (12 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags