As the first mushers threw their names into the ring for the 2020 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the race's governing body announced new leadership.


The Iditarod Trail Committee on Saturday publicized the appointment of Rob Urbach as its new CEO starting July 29. Urbach steps in to fill the void left by Stan Hooley, who resigned in January and had been with the race for 25 years. In January, the ITC hired the Foraker group to aid in the search for a new leader.

Urbach will direct and oversee all operations of the race, including business operations, human resources management, information technology, fundraising and public relations, according to a release from the ITC.

“Rob embraces our vision of an Iditarod that is committed to the priority of canine care both on and off the trail,” said Iditarod Board of Directors President Mike Mills in ITC's release. “In addition to his extensive credentials, Rob has proven himself to be a nimble and strategic leader and we’re looking forward to Rob taking the helm of the Last Great Race on Earth.”

Urbach served as the CEO of USA Triathlon from 2011-2017 and handled all day-to-day operations for the national governing body for USA Triathlon. An article on states Urbach collected a $362,000 annual salary for the job.

Part of his duties will be to diversify the financial foundation of the organization, according to the release. Urbach received his MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a LinkedIn profile lists his most recent employment as a director for Andra Partners, a financial firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated Stan Hooley stepped down in December 2018. His resignation was announced in December and he left the ITC in January 2019.

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