As the first-ever Commissioner of the WNBA, Cathy Engelbert is charged with bolstering visibility for the sport of women’s basketball, empowering WNBA players, and enhancing fan engagement. In her time as Commissioner, Engelbert has executed a historic player-first Collective Bargaining Agreement, built and socialized a new economic framework to drive league revenue and owner success, and led the league to a successful 2020 season through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to being appointed Commissioner in July 2019, Engelbert spent 33 years at Deloitte, rising to Chief Executive Officer in 2015. As CEO, she became the first woman to lead a Big Four firm, overseeing one of the largest professional services organizations in the U.S. with more than 100,000 professionals. Over the course of her tenure, she drove a large transformation across the business by moving the firm towards emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, robotics and cloud, including securing ecosystem partnerships with large technology companies and executing digital acquisitions. Revenues grew more than 30 percent under Engelbert, and her people-first agenda included implementing a holistic well-being culture through programs like Deloitte’s 16-week family leave policy.
As a strong supporter of diversity and inclusion, Engelbert was the first woman to serve as chair of the Catalyst Board, a global non-profit organization that promotes inclusive workplaces for women, and the Center for Audit Quality Governing Board. She is a Vice Chair of the Partnership for New York City, was a founding member of CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, and previously served as a member of the Business Roundtable. Engelbert currently sits on the McDonald’s Board of Directors (Audit Committee), the Royalty Pharma Board of Directors, and the USGA Executive Committee.
Engelbert was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women for four consecutive years. She was ranked on Glassdoor’s annual Employees’ Choice Awards honoring the 100 Highest-Rated CEOs, and among Crain’s 50 Most Powerful Women in New York. Engelbert has also been recognized as one of Working Mother magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Moms and one of Fast Company magazine’s Most Productive People.
Engelbert received a B.S. in accounting from Lehigh University and is a certified public accountant licensed in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. During her time at Lehigh, Engelbert was a member of the university’s basketball and lacrosse teams and served as a senior captain for both teams. On the court, she played for Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw. Engelbert’s father, Kurt, played for Naismith Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay at Saint Joseph’s University and was drafted in 1957 by the NBA’s Detroit Pistons.
Engelbert is married and has two children, Julia and Tommy.