Timothy P. Shriver
Timothy P. Shriver is the Chairman, Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. In that capacity, he serves 3.1 million Special Olympics athletes and their families in 175 countries. He has helped transform Special Olympics into a movement that focuses on respect, acceptance and inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities in all corners of the globe.
After taking the helm at Special Olympics in 1996, Shriver launched the organization’s most ambitious growth agenda, leading to the recruitment of more than 2 million new athletes around the world. He has worked with the leaders of China to initiate a thriving Special Olympics Program in their country, highlighted by their hosting the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai. He has also worked with world leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Bertie Ahern, Rafiq Hariri, Thabo Mbeki, Julius Nyerere, Hosni Mubarak and Shimon Peres to advance the growth of the Special Olympics mission and vision while challenging nations to adopt more supportive and just policies. He has spearheaded programs in developing or war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia Herzegovina and Iraq.
Shriver has also created exciting new Special Olympics initiatives in athlete leadership, cross-cultural research, health, education and family support. Among them, Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® has become the world’s largest public health screening and education program for people with intellectual disabilities, and Special Olympics Get Into It®, together with Unified Sports®, promotes inclusion and acceptance around the world. In addition, he has worked to garner more legislative attention and government support for issues of concern to the Special Olympics community, testifying before the U.S. Congress on numerous occasions.
As part of his passion for promoting the gifts of the forgotten, Shriver has harnessed the power of Hollywood to share the stories of inspiration and change, co-producing DreamWorks Studios’ 1997 release, “Amistad,” and Disney Studios’ 2000 release, “The Loretta Claiborne Story.” He is Executive Producer of “The Ringer,” a Farrelly Brothers’ film, and also has produced or co-produced shows for ABC, TNT and NBC networks, and made broadcast appearances on “The Today Show,” CNN, MTV and Nickelodeon’s “World of Difference.”
Before joining Special Olympics, Shriver was and remains a leading educator focusing on the social and emotional factors in learning. He has worked in substance abuse prevention, violence, dropout prevention and teen pregnancy prevention. He created the New Haven Public Schools’ Social Development Project, now considered the leading school-based prevention effort in the United States, and co-founded the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading research organization in the United States in the field of social and emotional learning. Shriver currently chairs CASEL.
Shriver earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University, a Master's degree in Religion and Religious Education from Catholic University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Connecticut. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including honorary degrees from Loyola University, New England College and Albertus Magnus College; the Medal of the City of Athens, Greece; the Order de Manuel Amador Guerrera of the Republic of Panama; the 1995 Connecticut Citizen of the Year; the Surgeon General’s Medallion; and the 2007 Lions Humanitarian Award. He has authored articles in many leading publications including “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post” and “Commonweal."
Shriver serves on the Boards of the WPP Group and Neogenix Oncology, Inc. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.