Board of Directors Approves Members for the Referee Committee


October 26, 2023 – Colorado Springs, CO

The Board of Directors approved the members for the Referee Committee that will replace the former 3-committee structure.  The new committee members are:

  • Fariba Madani – Chairperson (non-voting)
  • Diane Martin – Secretary (non-voting)
  • Chuck Sweigart – Advisory member
  • Cleve Baxter – Operations member
  • Chris Hodgin – Certification member
  • Jay Farrell – Education member
  • 2 Athlete Representatives to be named by the AAC (TBD)

USANKF would also like to make the following statement to clarify any confusion on the appointment of Ms. Fariba Madani to the Referee Committee:

 “Fariba Madani and USA-NKF have amicably resolved all pending matters. Ms. Madani is recognized as a full member of USA-NKF without any limitations on her ability to serve in a leadership capacity. Ms. Madani and USA-NKF look forward to serving USA-NKF's members and promoting the sport of karate throughout the USA and the world.”

After more than six months of evaluation and discussion at the Board and CEO level, the USANKF Board of Directors approved a new Referee Committee structure at the July 12, 2023, Board meeting. The new committee structure aims to provide a framework for an effective and transparent Referee Committee function. 

Some notable changes include criteria for selection, responsibilities for the collective committee, individual responsibilities based on member position, and the concept of task forces, rather than the default of the committee itself, to operate future Signature Events. 

The first order of business for this new committee is to propose Metrics of Success for the USANKF Board’s approval. These metrics will be used as a way to ensure the effectiveness and accountability of the Referee Committee.

“I want to take a moment to thank all previous Referee Committee members for their commitment to our federation. Our Board did not take this decision to amend the structure lightly, and we continue to appreciate the work done to date,” said USANKF Board Chair Elisa Au. “For the newly formed committee, the Board has the utmost confidence in their ability to lead the Referee Corp and to continually raise the bar of officiating across all USA Karate events. We are proud of our USA officials, past and present, and owe a considerable part of our successes as an organization to them.”


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