Christopher McCleary is due to join the USOC on January 5, having spent eight years leading the worldwide legal operations in marketing, sponsorships, intellectual property and client licensing at Visa, a member of the International Olympic Committee’s TOP programme since 1986.

“I am thrilled to be joining the USOC team,” he said.

“Working with a long-time Olympic sponsor allowed me to see the USOC’s great progress in recent years and its great prospects going forward.

“I look forward to helping in every way I can.”

McCleary, who also served as senior associate general counsel of global brand and client management at Visa Inc., will assume many of the responsibilities of outgoing general counsel Rana Dershowitz, including oversight of all legal matters faced by the organisation and all necessary functions as corporate secretary for the USOC board of directors.

Additionally, he will serve as the organisation’s ethics officer, coordinating with the USOC Ethics Committee, and will lead the USOC’s partnerships with the World Anti-Doping Agency, US Anti-Doping Agency and Partnership for Clean Competition.

United States Olympic Committee chief executive, Scott Blackmun, says Christopher McCleary "has a deep understanding of the Olympic Movement" ©Getty Images

United States Olympic Committee chief executive, Scott Blackmun, says Christopher McCleary “has a deep understanding of the Olympic Movement” ©Getty Images

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Chris, who has a deep understanding of the Olympic Movement and the sports marketing industry,” said USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun.

“His broad base of legal and business experience, both at the national and global level, will enable him to make an immediate and positive impact within our organisation.”

In a prior stint with Visa Inc., McCleary held the position of senior vice-president for the American arm of the company, where he led the legal department in all marketing and advertising matters.

In addition to this, McCleary has served as general counsel for Move.com and practiced law with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, concentrating on intellectual property matters.