Harold Cliff was the Events Expert in the USA Swimming Open Water Swimming Safety Task Force. He is an expert in project management, having overseen world class sports events with television audiences in the billions. A four-year member of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee, Cliff worked for Swimming Canada for 12 years, including seven as its Chief Executive Officer.
Following his tenure at Swimming Canada, Cliff spent five years working for the organizing committees in both Montreal and Melbourne, Australia for the FINA World Championships, where he directed operational aspects for all five aquatic disciplines. He was the General Manager of Sport at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne, Australia and served as Vice President Competitions & Special Advisor for the event in Montreal in 2005.
He was also the Chief Operating Officer of the highly-successful 2008 Olympic Team Trials – Swimming in Omaha.
Cliff is the current President of the Omaha Sports Commission and as such, is responsible for the overall management of the organization including bidding for and organizing major sporting competitions. Cliff will serve as the CEO of the Olympic Team Trials – Swimming in 2012.
USA Swimming Open Water Swimming Safety Task Force
Cliff participated in the USA Swimming Open Water Swimming Safety Task Force, an investigative committee that reviewed and made recommendations about the circumstances around the death of Fran Crippen at a FINA-sanctioned professional marathon swim in Dubai. He was joined by Sid Cassidy (Coach and Technical Expert), Richard Pound (Chairman), and Dr. Scott Rodeo (Medical Consultant). Their recommendations were ultimately accepted by the FINA Bureau on 27 July 2012 as concrete means to improve safety in its open water swimming competitions.
The Task Force had three functions: (1) to review the findings of the independent USA Swimming investigation, (2) to solicit and consider other pertinent information from appropriate individuals and organizations, and (3) develop recommendations for the improvement of safety protocols, procedures and precautions arising from the death of Crippen. These recommendations were presented to USA Swimming and FINA in March 2011.
The recommendations were ultimately accepted by the FINA Bureau on 27 July 2012 as concrete means to improve safety in its open water swimming competitions.