Lisa Finegan, Co-Director of ICEF Student Leadership Academy
Lisa, who represented Team USA in the 2019 Malaysia World Cup, has secured a spot on the USA High-Performance Women’s Squad for the upcoming 2024 World Cup in England. She is a certified World Rugby Educator and was recognized as the World Rugby 7's Series USA Developmental Coach of the Year Award in 2021. She was nominated as a WISE LA Woman to Watch in 2020 and received the ‘Athletes in Excellence Award’ by the Foundation for Global Sports Development in 2021.
From Ireland, Lisa pursued her academic journey at St Mary's University, London, where she earned a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science, majoring in Sport Psychology. She later pursued higher education at Brunel University, London, earning a Postgraduate Degree in Teaching and a Masters in Education.
As a Director with Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), Lisa is deeply passionate about enhancing quality education. She holds a pivotal role as the Co-Director of the ICEF Student Leadership Academy, promoting a holistic approach; Academics, Arts, and Athletics - the 3 A's of ICEF's educational model. Her belief is unlocking potential and creating transformative educational impacts. She emphasizes social-emotional, project-based learning and inquiry-based teaching.
Lisa is also the Co-Director of ICEF Rugby, using the sport for character and leadership development. She has led teams on cultural and educational rugby expeditions worldwide, including Africa, Fiji, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Brazil, and New Zealand. She features prominently in the rugby documentary titled ‘An American Rugby Odyssey’, being aired on platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Fox Sports 2.
As a true advocate for athletes' well-being, Lisa contributes to the Advisory Board for Courage First Athletes Helpline. This initiative, rooted in the expertise of the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline and the Foundation for Global Sports Development, strives to empower athletes and communities involved in youth sports. The goal is to ensure fair play and safe participation in athletics across all age groups.