BAA Press Release
October 19, 2017
BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced that Dr. Michael P. O’Leary has been elected B.A.A. President by the B.A.A. Board of Governors. O’Leary succeeds Joann Flaminio, the first female President in B.A.A. history, whose term ended this year after serving in the position since 2011.
O’Leary, born and raised in Framingham, Mass. along the Boston Marathon route, becomes the 24th President of the Boston Athletic Association. O’Leary has been a member of the B.A.A. since 1989, and he has held a position on the Board of Governors for the last 12 years.
O’Leary was elected at the B.A.A. Annual Meeting, which took place on Tuesday, October 17 in Boston, effective immediately.
“As someone who has grown up with this race and organization, to have the opportunity to guide the B.A.A. through its next phase of development is an honor and dream,” said O’Leary. “My father, who also held the B.A.A. in high esteem, would be very proud. I look forward to this exciting opportunity.”
O’Leary’s ties to the B.A.A. run deep, as his father was a lifelong B.A.A. member and the personal physician of former B.A.A. President and Boston sports leader Walter Brown. O’Leary ran cross country and track at Harvard University, where he graduated with honors.
O’Leary is currently a tenured Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Senior Urologic Surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, where he is also Director of Men’s Health. He has been named to Castle Connolly’s List of Top Doctors in the United States for over a decade, and he is a member of several prestigious organizations including the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons.
O’Leary lives in Dedham, Massachusetts, along with his wife Dr. Kathleen Welch, who also practices at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The pair have two children, Jackie, 27, and James, 22.
B.A.A. By-laws passed in 2016, a term limit of five years has been established for the president of the Association. Flaminio will remain on the B.A.A. Board of Governors, now serving as Vice President.
During Flaminio’s tenure, the B.A.A. has expanded in all areas, including increasing staffing and integrating new programming and community involvements. While Flaminio was President, the B.A.A. introduced the B.A.A. 10K and B.A.A. Distance Medley to give runners the opportunity to progress from the 5K distance to the half marathon, and established Boston Marathon adidas RunBase, a year-round showcase on Boylston Street. Since 2011 when Flaminio took office, B.A.A. races have grown into experiential events that attract 60,000 participants each year.
Flaminio served as President through some of the most meaningful Boston Marathons in recent history. Over the last two years, Flaminio was an integral part of the 50th anniversary celebration of women’s participation at the Boston Marathon, recognizing pioneers Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb and Kathrine Switzer. Flaminio saw women’s participation at B.A.A. events reach historic levels during her tenure.
“I am excited to pass the baton to Dr. Michael O’Leary to build on the extraordinary success that we have achieved,” said Flaminio. “Serving as the first woman President of the B.A.A. has been the privilege of a lifetime, and I look forward to continued service on the B.A.A. Board under Michael’s leadership.”
The 122nd running of the Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 16, 2018, with an expected field size of 30,000 participants.