Paul Tagliabue

Chair of Georgetown University’s board of directors
Former commissioner of NFL


Paul Tagliabue was the Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL) from 1989 until 2006. He has been a member of Georgetown University’s Board of Directors since 2006 and Board Chair since 2009, and he remains active in business, law, higher education and sports.

As NFL Commissioner, Mr. Tagliabue presided over an extended period of labor-management peace, league expansion and record growth of fan interest and revenue in professional football. During his tenure, the league developed innovative television and internet arrangements, created the NFL Network, helped to finance the construction of more than 20 team stadiums, implemented strict policies to prevent use of performance enhancing substances, and created USA Football to support youth participation in the sport.

Tagliabue has been an adviser to the United States Olympic Committee and supported the restructuring of the Big East Conference as Georgetown’s Board Chair. He is senior of counsel at the Covington & Burling LLP law firm in Washington and is a leader of Covington’s strategic risk and crisis management initiative.

Tagliabue has served on the boards of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the United Way of America, chairing it during 1998-99, the National Urban League, and on the boards of other nonprofit organizations. He now serves on Panasonic’s Global Advisory Group, on the Advisory Board of the Promontory Financial Group and on the Board of Directors of Netshoes, a leading Latin America online sports retailer.

Widely recognized for his leadership in sports, business and education, Tagliabue has been honored by the Jackie Robinson Foundation and by the NCAA with its Theodore Roosevelt leadership award; he is a member of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame; and the Sports Business Journal has awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Award, only the third person to be so recognized.

Born in 1940, Tagliabue graduated in 1962 with honors from Georgetown College, where he was a scholarship student-athlete, the Senior Class President and captain of the basketball team. He received his law degree in 1965 with honors at New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden Scholar, and he has since received honorary degrees from several universities.