Scott Pioli joins RISE Board of Directors

January 30, 2018

Atlanta Falcons assistant GM has been active with Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality

NEW YORK – Scott Pioli, assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons and a 25-year front office veteran having served six NFL teams, has joined the Board of Directors for the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE).

Scott Pioli

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, RISE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress. Led by an unprecedented alliance of professional sports leagues, organizations, athletes, educators, media networks and sports professionals, RISE uses sports to promote understanding, respect and equality.

“Scott has played an active role in RISE for over a year, serving on our Advisory Board and co-chairing our RISE to Vote national nonpartisan voter-registration campaign,” said Jocelyn Benson, RISE CEO. “He has helped RISE to grow by being an important source of guidance as we expand our work with teams from various sports leagues.”

Added Ross: “RISE has been fortunate to have Scott as a key advisor. I am looking forward to him playing an even greater role as a Board of Directors member.”

Pioli is completing his fourth season with the Falcons. He previously served for four seasons as general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs and nine seasons with the New England Patriots as vice president of player personnel. His NFL career began as a scouting assistant for the Cleveland Browns in 1992 and included positions with the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets.

In addition to his front office experience, Pioli spent the 2013 season as an analyst on NBC’s Football Night in America and Sirius XM radio, where he offered fans behind the scenes insight into the NFL. Pioli also serves as an original member on the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship Advisory Council, helping to make the NFL a more diverse and inclusive league.

He has been named NFL Executive of the Year by various national media outlets five different seasons, including honors from Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Weekly/PFWA. In nine years with the Patriots, Pioli helped the club win Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX and claim four AFC championships and six AFC East titles.

Pioli was named the George Young NFL Executive of the Year – an award voted on by other NFL executives – by Sporting News following the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The youngest individual ever to win that accolade, he was the third person to ever win that honor in consecutive seasons. During the 2000s, Sports Illustrated named Pioli the number one GM/Pro Sports Executive, Sporting News named him the NFL Executive of the Decade and ESPN named him the NFL Personnel Man of the Decade. Pioli was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

Pioli played defensive tackle at Central Connecticut State University, where he was a three-time All-New England selection and graduated with a degree in communications. He earned his master’s degree in television and film from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

He spent two seasons in coaching positions at Murray State University in Kentucky.

Pioli serves on the boards for the Black College Football Hall of Fame, The Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City, College for Every Student and Alliance Theatre.

“It has been an honor serving RISE and its mission,” Pioli said. “I am grateful for having the opportunity to be a part of such a great organization and to be a connector for others. Most importantly, it is a humbling and great privilege to be a servant in helping to bring people together to improve race relations.”

Headquartered in New York and with a Midwest office in Detroit and a South office in Miami Gardens, Florida, RISE has been active in 23 states with plans to be in all 50 states by the end of 2020.

RISE provides:

  • Leadership programming for student-athletes, coaches and administrators at the community, middle school, high school, collegiate and professional levels to equip them with the knowledge and skills to stand up against racism and advance the conversation around race relations.
  • Opportunities for athletes to amplify their voices and make a difference as effective advocates to stand up against racism and promote social progress. Through the RISE to Vote campaign, RISE partners with sports teams and leagues to register professional athletes to vote and encourage them to lead their fans in becoming informed and engaged citizens.
  • Events for fans in conjunction with college and professional sports games and public awareness campaigns encouraging the public to join with professional athletes and community leaders in taking a pledge to stand against racism.

For more information about RISE, visit

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