Event Partners

Jan Dawson (NZL)

Name: Jan Dawson
Year of Birth: 1953
Nationality: New Zealand
Residence: New Zealand
First language: English
Other languages:

Candidates Goals

My primary goal, if elected as a Vice President, is to fully contribute as a Board member to ensure that World Sailing performs to its potential and is strong and sustainable organisation.

I will apply my skills and experience in governance, leadership and financial matters to work diligently and collegially with the Board and Management to implement the strategic plan that has been approved by the Members of World Sailing. I will be independent and free from conflict approaching all matters from the view of what is best for World Sailing in the long term.

Over the past four years as a Vice President and the previous eight years as a member of Council and Committees I have gained a deep institutional knowledge about the operations, structure and finances of World Sailing. These learnings over the last four years will be crucial to managing change within the organisation and deal with the current issues facing World Sailing. Given the ongoing impact of the global pandemic and the recent appointment of a new Chief Executive, it is important to have continuity on the Board as we work through the key matters.

I will assist with the induction of the new Vice Presidents covering historical matters and help them to be brought up to speed to discharge their responsibilities as Directors.

In my view, one of the priorities for the new Board are to work with management, consult key stakeholders and review and reset the Strategic Plan and budget, taking account the proposed initiatives, for the next quad. The Plan must overlay the likely impact of Covid-19 on the next 12 -24 months and the actions required to mitigate that impact on World Sailing, MNAs and athletes. The Strategic Plan and indicative costings would be approved by the Council and MNAs early in 2021 and set out the activities for the four years through to 2024. The strategy should cover all aspects of our sport, including the development of athletes, officials and national capability, both high performance and participation and cover all classes from Olympic, to Offshore to Optimist. Diversity and sustainability will also be essential elements to build on the progress that we have made in these areas to date.

The activities proposed in the strategy should be costed including the funding available to deliver against these strategies.

For the past six months, I have been on a subcommittee of the Board that has been focussed on dealing with the financial pressures World Sailing is facing. These pressures have increased as a result of the postponement of Tokyo 2020 and the delay of the receipt of funds from the IOC. The financial situation will require continued careful management as we reposition the organisation for the future under Covid-19.

There is uncertainty on when the Covid 19 border restrictions will be removed and this has a direct impact on all aspects of our sport - from High Performance such as Olympic Qualification, on Class World Championships to delivery of development and outreach programmes to encourage growth at a grass roots and an emerging nation level. While sailing can recommence at a domestic and maybe regional level, it is possible that international regattas or participation programmes will remain unlikely for some time.

The global pandemic has also put pressure on our commercial partners and the funding we receive for development and sustainability programmes. In the last quad, funding for programmes from sponsorship increased 124% to GBP 6.1m, including over GBP500,000 for sustainability initiatives. It is imperative that the diversification from the complete reliance on IOC funding remains a focus for World Sailing.

The Strategic Plan consultation will provide insight into the Members appetite to carry on with the governance reforms. The initial survey in 2017 indicated over 94% wanted more efficient and appropriate processes. As a result, there has been a lot of investment to understand the members' ideas and opinions and to develop processes that are tailored to World Sailing's unique characteristics. The principles for any changes proposed and made must reflect the basic values of transparency, ethics and representation. While the proposal to the November AGM, got 64% support, which was less that the 75% required, it is clear that the MNA's continue to want improvement in this area and the process to deliver a fit for purpose, integrated and efficient structure for making decisions on the direction of our sport and determine who should make these decisions.

If I am elected for a second term, I will work diligently and transparently to ensure that World Sailing is a strong and sustainable organisation.

Sailing Career

Winner NZ Women's Keelboat Championship (Fleet) 2007 and 2008 2nd place Australian Women's Match-racing Championship 2004

2nd NZ Women's Match-racing Championship 2008

13th ISAF Women's World Match Racing Championship 2008

Sailing Administration

Yachting New Zealand - President and Board Chair 2007-2013

Board member 2006

Life Member 2014

Roles within World Sailing

World Sailing - Vice President 2016 - 2020

Audit Committee Chair 2009-2016

Audit Committee Member 2016-2020

Council Member Area L 2012 - 2016

Events Committee Member 2008 - 2016

Election Committee 2012


Non-Executive Director of major New Zealand companies, Government bodies and not for profit organizations. My current portfolio is:

Chair - Westpac New Zealand. Top four largest bank. Deputy Chair - Air New Zealand

Director - Meridian Energy Limited. 100% renewable generator/retailer. Third largest company on NZ Stock Exchange. Director - AIG NZ Ltd - General insurer.

Councilor - University of Auckland. NZ's largest University. Member - Ministry of Health Capital Investment Committee

Chair and CEO | KPMG NZ| 2006-2011 Senior partner of KPMG NZ

Partner - Audit | KPMG NZ| 1986-2006 Manager - Audit | KPMG Vancouver| 1981-1986


Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit 2016 (services to Governance) Chartered Accountant of the Year - NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants 2011 FCA, NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants

Bachelor of Commerce (UofA). Rotary - Paul Harris Fellow

Nominating MNAs

Antigua & Barbuda Sailing Association, Australian Sailing, Bahamas Sailing Association, Barbados Sailing Association, Danish Sailing Association, Federacion Dominicana de Vela, Federation Francaise de Vela, Jamaica Yachting Association, Pago Pago Yacht Club, Royal Yachting Association, Sail Canada, South Africa Sailing, Swedish Sailing Federation, US Sailing, Yachting New Zealand

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