JoAnn Neale serves as Chief Administrative & Social Responsibility Officer, where she leads Human Resources, Administrative, Facilities and Social Responsibility at the MLS League Office and its commercial arm, Soccer United Marketing (SUM).
Neale is responsible for the strategic and legal oversight of all aspects of the Human Resources Department, including managing employee relations, recruiting, diversity and inclusion, succession planning, benefits, training and development, compensation, human resources information systems, culture and core values, and establishing and drafting League policies and procedures. Neale also leads the Administration Department, where she is responsible for office design, space planning, office relocation and expansion, vendor management, compliance and day-to-day office services and facility operations.
In addition, Neale spearheads and is responsible for the direction and overall strategy of MLS WORKS, developing it into one of professional sports’ most successful community outreach initiatives. MLS WORKS has established a commitment to social responsibility through charitable giving and by undertaking grassroots community service programs focused on diversity and inclusion, health and wellness, education and environmental issues throughout North America and abroad.
Neale has spent the majority of her career with MLS after joining the League in 1998 as Legal Counsel. She was promoted to Vice President and Legal Counsel in 1999, then Senior Vice President, Business Affairs and General Counsel in 2001. Neale spent six years overseeing all legal matters for both MLS and SUM, including the areas of corporate governance, expansion, sponsorship, broadcasting and licensing.
Prior to joining MLS, Neale spent four years as an attorney at the law firms of Latham & Watkins and Duval & Stachenfeld, where she focused on corporate finance and real estate transactions.
Neale earned her law degree from New York University’s School of Law, graduating cum laude, in 1994. She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Economics from Cornell University, with distinction, in 1991.
A native of New York, Neale resides in Syosset, New York with her husband and two daughters.