B.A.A. Announces Planned Leadership Changes

President & CEO Tom Grilk to become Senior Advisor to the B.A.A. on May 1, 2022

BOSTON –The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced that Thomas S. Grilk, President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), will transition to the role of Senior Advisor to the B.A.A., after more than 11 years leading the Boston non-profit and more than 40 years of connection to the organization. Chief Operating Officer Jack Fleming will serve as Acting Chief Executive Officer effective May 1, 2022. The B.A.A.’s Board of Governors will initiate a search for a new CEO.

“It has been an enormous and gratifying privilege to lead the B.A.A. and to serve with a magnificent group of colleagues who have been instrumental in the organization’s development and growth,” said Grilk. “These include my fellow staff members at the B.A.A.; our Board of Governors; our relentlessly supportive sponsors; the Organizing Committee; public service, safety, and medical officials; and the thousands of volunteers who come out every year to take care of athletes from around the world.”

After serving as president of the B.A.A.’s Board of Governors for seven years (2003-10), Grilk served as Executive Director from 2011 until his title was transitioned to Chief Executive Officer in 2016. During his tenure, Grilk has guided the organization through significant challenges, strengthened the B.A.A. financially, and deepened the B.A.A.’s commitment to the community.

Michael O’Leary, MD, Chair of the Board of Governors of the B.A.A. shared these words of gratitude: “The members of the Board want to express their deepest appreciation to Tom for his tremendous years of service and his impactful vision in creating and navigating a path of success for the organization. He guided us during the aftermath of the 2013 terror attack on the City of Boston to most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. We also want to recognize Tom for his gifted leadership in working with the Board to develop closer ties to our community, including through the newly launched Boston Running Collaborative, an initiative which seeks to expand access to running and walking in communities of color across Boston. Tom was also instrumental in bringing in the Boston Marathon as a founding member of the Abbott World Marathon Majors. His legacy to the B.A.A. will be his determination and passion to advance the mission of our organization.”

As an advocate for expanding access to health and wellness through running, Grilk has led an expansion of the B.A.A.’s commitment to the Greater Boston community. The organization was a founding partner of the Road to Wellness 5K, along with the Dimock Center and HoodFit, and has continued to financially support the Roxbury-based road race. The B.A.A. has also made donations to the Boston Public Schools (BPS) for students’ physical education classes as well as donations to area non-profits to support greater access to health and wellness—especially through running.

Since Grilk assumed his leadership role in 2011, the Boston Marathon’s Official Charity Program and John Hancock Non-Profit Program surpassed the $400 million mark—growing by more than $300 million during his tenure—and the Boston Marathon has generated an estimated economic impact of more than $200 million for the Greater Boston economy annually.

“Tom has been an inimitable presence throughout his tenure with the Boston Marathon, and we are grateful for his partnership over the years,” said Marianne Harrison, president and CEO of John Hancock, principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon. “We’re proud of the meaningful impact we have made together to foster healthier, more equitable communities in Boston, and beyond. We wish him the very best in this next chapter.”

Building upon the B.A.A.’s history as a competitive athletic organization, the B.A.A., in collaboration with adidas, launched its High Performance Team in 2013, through which B.A.A. athletes have represented the United States on an international level and won USA national titles as both a team and individuals. Additionally, in 2021 the Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to offer prize money for Para Athletes.

Grilk will continue as President and Chief Executive Officer through April 30, 2022. 


Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock. The Boston Marathon is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. For more information on the B.A.A., or the B.A.A. club, racing team, and High Performance Team, please visit www.baa.org.