JoAnn Neale serves as Executive Vice President at the Major League Soccer (MLS) League Office and its commercial arm, Soccer United Marketing (SUM), where she leads Human Resources, Administrative and Social Responsibility.
Neale is responsible for the strategic and legal oversight of all aspects of the Human Resources Department, including managing employee relations and drafting League policies and procedures. Neale also leads the Administration Department, where she is responsible for 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 W.O.R.K.S., developing it into one of professional sports’ most successful community outreach initiatives. MLS W.O.R.K.S. has established a commitment to social responsibility through charitable giving and by undertaking grassroots community service programs focused on health and wellness, education and environmental issues throughout the United States 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 Long Island, New York, Neale resides in Syosset, New York with her husband and two daughters.