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Lord Sebastian Coe

President IAAF and former Olympic Champion

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Change, risk & handling uncertainty
Transformational Leadership
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Leadership & resilience
Lord Sebastian Coe

President IAAF and former Olympic Champion


Sebastian Coe is the UK’s most prolific world record setter and arguably the greatest runner to compete for the UK. 

In 1977 he made his first mark as a professional athlete, winning the 800m at the European Indoor Championship. After a string of world records, he won his first Olympic medal in 1980 at the Moscow games, taking gold in the 1,500m. His second gold came in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics. His famous rivalry with fellow runner Steve Ovett dominated athletics through much of those years, and he quickly became the UK’s best known athlete - setting 12 middle-distance world records. 

Coe retired from athletics in 1990 and moved into politics. In 1992, he was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for Falmouth and Camborne, a seat he held for 5 years, when he became Private Secretary to William Hague, the Leader of the Opposition. In 2000 he was appointed a Lord, becoming Lord Coe of Ranmore. 

Coe was asked to lead London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.  He led London to victory and the city went on to host a phenomenally successful Olympic Games, with Coe at the helm. Following the games, Coe was elected Chairman of the British Olympic Association - a post he held until 2016. 

In 2015, Coe was elected President of the world governing body for athletics, the IAAF, having been a Vice President since 2007.

Packing his speeches with anecdotes from his time as an Olympic athlete, an MP, his chairmanship of London 2012, his turnaround of the British Olympic Association and his presidency of the IAAF through troubled times, Lord Coe demonstrates to audiences his political and strategic expertise in guiding large organisations on the global stage. 

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