International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 14 February 2022


Pierre Ducrey

Current Position: Olympic Games Operations Director at the International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Year of graduation: 2003 (3rd edition)

Nationality: Swiss

What does your current role involve?

As Olympic Games Operations Director I am responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the Olympic Games. My team and I work closely with all of the IOC departments to ensure that each organising committee is following the agreed plan to deliver the Games.

To achieve this, we work very closely with the various organising committees and host cities to assess progress, identify issues and risks and propose corresponding mitigation measures. The biggest challenge we face is to ensure we continue to deliver a fantastic event which meets the expectations of the various stakeholders and general public. We need to do this whilst containing costs and complexity. It has also become a health and safety role since the postponement of the Tokyo Games as we now coordinate all COVID related aspects for the Games with local authorities and organisers.

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

Completing the FIFA Master proved to be a key step in my career. It allowed me to meet fantastic individuals who became close friends, meet with key people in the industry and confirmed that this was the career I wanted to pursue. It also allowed me to access internship opportunities which gave me a first chance to acquire the experience which is so often needed to get started in the sports industry.

Before joining the IOC, I worked at the United Nations in the promotion of development and peace through sport. I was very happy to work for the UN at the beginning of my career but quickly realised that I was not going to learn much from the role I was in. As a result, I decided to move on and I have never regretted it. Therefore, if the IOC offers the right opportunity for you, then go for it but there might be other opportunities which will be more rewarding for you at the start of your career too. The key is to know exactly what role you are looking for and put all of your energy behind that objective!

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

I would say that the FIFA Master is very much a two-way street. It will offer many benefits to those that embrace it fully and make the most of the opportunities it offers, be it from an academic, networking or field visit standpoint. It is a unique opportunity to establish connections within the industry which you are trying to enter so make the most of it, and particularly when it comes to the course alumni network.

Back in 2003, the FIFA Master was still very new and we felt that a key pillar for its future growth would be its alumni network. What better asset could there be for a programme intended to train the sports administrators of tomorrow than being able to rely on a strong network of professionals already established in leading sporting associations. I was glad to be able to contribute to the first steps in the establishment of the course alumni association and to see it develop so well over the following years. I truly believe that this network is - and will continue to be - what makes the FIFA Master so special.

FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, ranked No.1 Course in Europe 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 by the SportBusiness International global rankings.

Organised by CIES in partnership with De Montfort University (United Kingdom), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland).

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