The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) is the international governing body for the sport of American football and is responsible for all regulatory, competition, performance and development aspects of the game on a global level.
The first national American Football federation outside of the United States was founded in Canada in 1896, as Canada already had a long history with Canadian football. Japan was also an early adopter of American football, establishing its national federation in 1936. The first European federation was formed in 1976.
In 1998 the International Federation of American Football was officially formed.
Its mission and purpose include the following:
The organisation and promotion of all amateur international competitions across both contact and non contact versions of the game.
The promotion of the game and the provision of educational and innovative resources for the football community to help strengthen the growth of American Football for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
The regulation of the game on and off the field of play through oversight of its rules.
The recognition and support of national federations as they develop the game in their respective countries.
The representation of the global game to international partners, be they sporting organisations, federations or commercial interests.
The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) is registered in France as a non-profit organisation.
The work of IFAF is led by the IFAF Presidium which is part of the IFAF Executive Board.
The current IFAF President is Richard MacLean (Canada)
In turn, the Executive Board oversees the work of a staffing structure comprised of Managers and Officers who support the delivery of the sport across a series of committees.
IFAF has five continental divisions, each of which oversees competition and development at a continental level.
Contact details for the Executive Board and core staff can be found on the Contacts page.
Contact details for the various committees can be found on the Committees Page.
Contact details for the member nations can be found under their respective continental headings in the Nations section.
Executive Board Biographies
President – Richard MacLean
Richard MacLean has been the President of IFAF since 2016. Leading the federation through the most extensive unification process in its history by implementing open and transparent policies and procedures that build capacity and enabled the membership to approve a strategic plan to guide IFAF towards a positive and full IOC recognition. In the last year IFAF has had a very positive external review of the federation from GAISF that has helped bring IOC recognition one step closer.
In 2018 MacLean was appointed Director of Football for University Sport in Canada and he currently sits as Chair of the USport Football Technical Sub-Committee.
A former president of Football Canada and prior to that as President of Football Nova Scotia (2004-2012) MacLean has always been able to reorganize and restructure organizations to help them reach new levels of potential and efficiency.
As President of Football Canada he initiated a Board restructure, helped the organization gain recognition with the Canadian Olympic Committee and negotiated a long-term partnership agreement with the Canadian Football League. Additionally, he served as chair the National Junior Team Program for Football Canada in 2012 - the year Team Canada's enjoyed success in winning the gold medal at the 2012 IFAF World Junior Championships in Austin, Texas.
A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, MacLean holds a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Mount St. Vincent University as well as a Graduate Diploma in Mediation, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Saint Mary's University.
MacLean is a high school teacher with the Halifax Regional School Board where he teaches Business Management and Entrepreneurship. He has previously served on the Alumni Board of Saint Mary's University.
MacLean has coached both flag and tackle football at all levels from youth to university. As a player, he enjoyed a successful CIS career with the Saint Mary's University Huskies where he served as team captain and was a CIS First Team All-Canadian in 1990 and also drafted by the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL.
Vice President – Scott Hallenbeck
Scott Hallenbeck has led USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, since 2005. He oversees all aspects of the organization, including football development, digital media, communications, corporate partnerships, and membership programs.
Under Hallenbeck’s leadership, USA Football has established itself as the leader in high school and youth football coach education and player skill advancement, collaborating with experts in medicine, child advocacy and leaders spanning multiple levels of the sport. USA Football also authors and commissions national-scope research studies to analyze and strengthen the sport’s level of safety for the benefit of youth players.
Director of Finance – Marie Solhaug
Born in South Korea Marie Solhaug grew up in Norway. She has been involved in American football in Norway since 2002 and has been a part of the federations board since 2003, having taken on the role of Director of Youth Football.
In 2007, she was elected as Director of Football (vice president) and held that position until she stepped down in 2012. Since 2012 Solhaug been Operational Manager for American football as an employee. She is responsible for planning and running all leagues in Norway, authoring the national Plan of Action and sub strategies as well as managing budgets.
American football in Norway is a part The Norwegian Federation of American Sports (NAIF) and NAIF is a member of Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF).
Director of Development – Mac Kaneuji
Mac Kaneuji has worked for Japan American Football Association, the National Federation of American Football in Japan, for almost a decade since as a Managing Director of the organization. His main focus has been in developing the coaching infrastructure in Japan and supporting international activity.
Mac has served IFAF in a number of roles, notably as Senior Vice President before becoming Director for Development.
Director of Competitions – Kasper Linden
Kasper is an experienced flag football player with a distinguished career in his native Denmark.
Kasper has a business background with strong project management skills in the computer software industry.
General Secretary – Chris Josey
Outside of football, Chris has held senior roles positions in both rental and capital sales markets, establishing sales channels on local, national and international levels and successfully creating channels in North and South America, Mexico and Canada.
Chris has formally been President of Gridiron in Queensland in his native Australia along with being a Director of Gridiron Australia.
Director for Africa – George Alwanga
George Alwanga is the current chairman of the Kenya Federation of American football.
Alwanga has led the organization in working towards its vision of increasing participation by conducting clinics and camps, overseeing leagues and supporting the establishment of teams across the country. In his role with the Kenyan Federation Alwanga has been a champion for better coach education and, along with colleagues, has established a programme of local coach and officials’ education.
Recognising his commitment and desire for football development in Africa, he was elected by the 2018 Congress to serve as the continental director of Africa. Since then he has brought together 16 nations where most are Allied Members. He is also guiding other nations on formalizing federations, to oversee development in their respective countries and thereafter seek IFAF membership. His vision for Africa is for nations embrace the sport.
Director for Asia – Dr. KK Park
KK Park is a former President of the Korean American Football Association, having been elected in 1985. He oversaw all aspects of the organization, including football development, communications, corporate partnerships, and international relationships. KK was also one of the founders of IFAF, in 1998.
Since then, KK has been devoted to the development of IFAF in various roles including as Senior Vice President, President of Asia Football Association. He now sits as Continental Director for Asia.
Director for Americas – Jaime Carrizo
Jaime Carrizo was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Football Federation of Panama (AFFP) from 2007 to 2019, leading the organization as President from 2014 to 2019. During his leadership at the head of the AFFP, Panama Won the Gold Medal of IFAF´s 2016 Flag Football World Championship (Women), the Silver Medal of IFAF´s 2018 Flag Football World Championship (Women) and Gold Medal in the Central American Bowl in 2018.
In 2018, Jaime Carrizo led the Local Organization Committee (LOC) of IFAF´s 2018 Flag Football World Championship, as Panama became the first Latin-American country to host an IFAF´s Flag Football World Championship. During his leadership in 2016, it was formally presented before the Government of the Republic of Panama, the project for the construction of the 1st Football Stadium in Panama, which was finished in 2019.
Director for Oceania – Michael Ryan
A Business Development Manager outside of football, Michael served as the Chairman of Gridiron Australia for over a decade, leading the growth and development of the game across the country.
In 2007 Michael took on the leadership role for the Oceania region.
Michael has served on a number of IFAF committees, notably the Marketing and Commercial Committee.