Amy Huchthausen is in her sixth year as commissioner of the America East Conference. She was named to the position in September, 2011, becoming the conference’s fourth commissioner and first woman to lead the league.
The America East has made progressive strides in numerous areas during Huchthausen’s first five years, elevating the conference’s profile while building a platform for sustained success. Her leadership was recognized in April, 2016, by the Sports Business Journal when she was named a 2016 Forty Under 40 honoree after being named a Game Changer by the same publication in September, 2015.
Under her guidance, national television exposure in men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s lacrosse has increased significantly through the league’s partnership with ESPN. The America East also launched its digital network, AmericaEast.TV, in August, 2013, which showcases a variety of conference sports on one platform, making the availability of live and on-demand content more accessible to fans. Additionally, the conference has created a robust and innovative social media strategy as it continues to elevate its external presence. In line with building for the future, the conference added its first member in 10 years, when the University of Massachusetts Lowell joined the conference on February 14, 2013.
Many new initiatives have found success in Huchthausen’s tenure. In 2015, the America East debuted a new postseason format for men’s basketball that saw each game played on the home court of the higher seed, which has resulted in record attendance numbers for the conference each of the last two years. Additionally, the league formally established the America East Academic Consortium, which has createdacademic partnerships across all nine institutions under the direction of each campus president and provost. Further, the conference has established itself as a leader in the area of diversity and inclusion by being the first Division I conference partner of the You Can Play Project in 2012, while recently becoming the first conference to be included as a member of the LGBT SportSafe Founders Club in September, 2016.
The conference continues its emphasis on its brand platform centered on “Building the Complete Student-Athlete” through the three pillars of academic achievement, athletic excellence and leadership on and off the field. This dynamic rebranding initiative was unveiled on August 20, 2013, is the foundation upon which league decisions are made and has resulted in innovative programs and partnerships such as the creation of the #3Pillars Academy, a professional development program reaching emerging leaders in athletics administration and coaching. The conference has also established an Alumni Network, which aims to provide networking and educational opportunities for former America East student-athletes as they embark on life after college.
Huchthausen recently completed a four-year term as a member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) Board of Directors. In addition, she has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) and the NCAA Transfer Issues Working Group, following her service as chair of the NCAA Leadership Council Transfer Issues Subcommittee.
Huchthausen came to the America East after spending over five years at the NCAA national office, the last four as a Director of Academic and Membership Affairs. While at the NCAA she helped lead and coordinate internal operations for the department’s senior management team and provided leadership to several key Division I and Division III governance committees.
Before joining the NCAA as an associate director in 2006, she worked as an assistant commissioner with the America East, assistant director of compliance and governance at the Atlantic Coast Conference, director of compliance at the Missouri Valley Conference and compliance assistant at the Big East Conference. She also served as a member of the Division I Academics/Eligibility/Compliance Cabinet and Legislative Review & Interpretations Committee.
In 2003, she was honored by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, with the Multicultural Alumni Award which recognizes multicultural graduates who have achieved distinction in their fields. Additionally, she was awarded the 2001 NACWAA Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year Award that recognizes leaders who demonstrate leadership, tenacity, courage, conviction and perseverance.
A native of Richfield, Minn., Huchthausen earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where she was a two-time captain of the softball team and two-time all-conference recipient. While a student-athlete, she served on the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and NCAA Division III Management Council. She is currently enrolled in the Executive MBA program at the MIT Sloan School of Management, with an expected graduation date of June, 2018.