Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi to Take Leave of Absence

Photo Courtesy: Michael P. Hall/Swimming Canada

Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi to Take Leave of Absence

Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi will take a personal leave of absence from leading the federation, it announced on Thursday. Suzanne Paulins will serve as the acting CEO in addition to her role as Director of Operations and Sport Development. The moves are effective May 29.

“We are very supportive of Ahmed and his leave,” Swimming Canada President Mary C. Lyne said in a press release. “The board has complete confidence in the management team that Ahmed has built. Suzanne and the team are well positioned to continue to implement and support the strategic plan and goals of the organization, and manage the day-to-day operations.”

El-Awadi has been the CEO of the organization since 2013. He has guided Swimming Canada through two Olympic cycles, including the Tokyo Olympics that were postponed a year by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paulins was appointed to her current position in 2021. She was first hired by Swimming Canada in 2017 after a 20-year career with the Bank of Montreal. She has been involved in the sport for more than 45 years, serving as a FINA List referee and a Technical Official at the 2015 Pan Am Games, which Toronto hosted.

“Suzanne and the rest of our exceptional senior leadership team and staff will continue to execute our strategy and operational plans as we prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” El-Awadi said. “Suzanne has my every confidence, and she will lead this organization without missing a beat.”

“We have a strong strategic plan, and a leadership team in place that will carry on with what Ahmed has built,” Paulins said. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Swimming Canada Board of Directors, the senior leadership team and all staff over the coming months in moving all projects and strategies forward.”

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