USA Swimming Foundation Hires Olympian Scott Usher as Director of Major Gifts

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The USA Swimming Foundation announced today the addition of Scott Usher to its headquarters staff as the new Director of Major Gifts.

Usher will evaluate, plan and implement strategy for the Foundation’s major gifts program to increase donations at higher levels. In conjunction with USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director Debbie Hesse, he will serve as lead solicitor and steward for donors by developing strong relationships with major prospects.

“We are excited to welcome Scott in this key role to help provide swim lessons for our country’s children and to support the United States national team as they pursue their Olympic dreams,” said Hesse. “Scott has a strong reputation in the swimming community, in addition to his success as a major gifts officer, which will help us reach our goals to save lives and build champions – in the pool and in life.”

Usher swam at the University of Wyoming and competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in the 200 breaststroke. He continued to swim through 2008 where he finished third at the U.S. Olympic Trials – Swimming. After spending a few years coaching, Usher earned his Master of Science degree in Sports Studies and recently served as the Assistant Director of Development, Major Gift Officer at Miami University in Ohio.

“The opportunity to work for the USA Swimming Foundation and serve an organization that impacts so many lives like it did mine in 2004 by allowing me to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games is truly a dream come true,” said Usher. “I look forward to sharing with USA Swimming’s passionate supporters how their philanthropic gifts to the USA Swimming Foundation can Save Lives and Build Champions so that dreams like mine and so many other swimmers can come true.”

The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative provides the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim – regardless of race, gender or financial circumstances. It is the nation’s pre-eminent learn to swim initiative, with more than 750 local partners nationwide that provide swim lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim. Since 2007, nearly 4 million children have learned the critical life-saving skill of swim lessons from Make a Splash providers. Thus far, the USA Swimming Foundation has provided over 4 million dollars in grants to local partners for free and low cost swimming lessons nationwide.

Through Building Champions, the USA Swimming Foundation supports National Team athletes and coaches by providing financial assistance that is crucial to their pursuit of athletic and personal success. This support helps to keep USA Swimming’s National Team at the top of the medal stand, a position it has held for more than 50 years. In 2016, the USA Swimming Foundation will provide over $600,000 to National Team and Junior National Team athletes and coaches.

To learn how you can support the USA Swimming Foundation, visit:

USA Swimming Foundation contributed this report.


  1. avatar
    Robert Grace

    Congratulations Scott. I am sure you will be doing great things at USA Swimming.