NFLPA News: NFLPA Board of Player Representatives Elects New Executive Director

Lydia Jane Allison

Lloyd Howell (file photo)

The Board of Player Representatives of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has elected Lloyd Howell as the Executive Director of the NFLPA. Howell will serve as the NFLPA’s 4th Executive Director, succeeding Ed Garvey (1971-1983), Gene Upshaw (1983-2008) and DeMaurice Smith (2009-current).

“We are excited to have Lloyd lead our union into its next chapter and succeed DeMaurice Smith, who has ably led our organization for the past decade plus and has our gratitude and thanks,” said NFLPA President JC Tretter. “It was important for us to run a process that lived up to the prestige of the position we sought to fill. The process was 100% player led and focused on leadership competency, skills and experience. Our union deserves strong leadership and a smooth transition, and we are confident Lloyd will make impactful advances on behalf of our membership.”

“The opportunity to represent the players is a privilege. I look forward to building relationships and the solidarity amongst our players. The history and strength of this institution is impressive, and I look forward to driving our bold goals and achieving them together in the future,” said Howell.

During his more than 34 years at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc (NYSE: “BAH”), Howell held a variety of leadership roles, most recently as its Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Additionally, he led the company’s Civil and Commercial Group. Howell serves on the boards of Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: “MCO”) and General Electric Healthcare (NASDAQ: “GEHC”) and is a Trustee at the University of Pennsylvania. Howell has an electrical engineering bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

In the last fourteen years, the NFL Players Association has achieved significant milestones:

  • Negotiated two collective bargaining agreements (2011 and 2020) which earned players gains in salaries, benefits and health and safety.
  • Navigated the COVID-19 Pandemic without missing a single game or game check to players and protected all player benefits.
  • Established the Trust, a first of its kind organization designed to support former NFL players transitioning out of the NFL.
  • Expanded the marketing and licensing arm of NFL Players, Inc., the wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of the union, doubling its revenue and welcoming new partners.
  • Conceiving of and forming One Team Partners – a new venture harnessing the group licensing rights of other sports unions to increase revenue and equity for athletes.

The Board of Player Representatives vote took place after a months-long and rigorous search process which was led by the NFLPA’s Executive Officers and executive search firm, Russell Reynolds, with General Counsel Tom DePaso serving as legal counsel for the search committee. The process was executed in accordance with the NFLPA’s Constitution and all Board amendments, and exercised best practices in executive search and the union governance. An official start date for the new Executive Director will be in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.

Members of the NFLPA’s Search Committee:

JC Tretter, President, Alex Mack, Treasurer, Vice-Presidents: Calais Campbell, Austin Ekeler, Ryan Kelly, Jason McCourty, Brandon McManus, Thomas Morstead, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Richard Sherman, Michael Thomas.


About the NFL Players Association:
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2030 NFL season. Learn more at


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