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Sandra Douglass Morgan: A Force to be Reckoned With

Last Updated: February 27, 2024
From blazing trails to playing a pivotal role in hosting Super Bowl LVIII, the Las Vegas Raiders President is just getting started.

Sandra Douglass Morgan might be an unfamiliar name to those living outside Las Vegas. However, the veteran executive and current president of the Las Vegas Raiders has made herself a household personality and remains committed to breaking barriers in the NFL and, quite frankly, beyond football.

Born in Knob Knoster, Mo., Douglass Morgan moved to Las Vegas as a toddler. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Nevada in Reno, eventually going on to earn a JD from the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV.

From there, Douglass Morgan blazed new trails everywhere she went. Long before making history as the first Black and Asian woman to serve as a President of an NFL team, Douglass Morgan became the first Black person to hold the role of civil attorney for North Las Vegas, a role she held from 2008 to 2016. Before that, Douglass Morgan was the first Black person to serve as chair of the Nevada Gaming Control Board (2019-2021). On top of that, she holds board positions with Allegiant Travel, Fidelity, and the UNLV Foundation while also being a member of the State Bar of Nevada and the District of Columbia Bar.

“I think anytime that you’re the ‘first’ or doing something that people around you want to keep highlighting, there is additional pressure,” Douglass Morgan said at the fifth annual Sports Power Brunch in Las Vegas last week ahead of the Super Bowl. “I think as the first Black woman in this role as President, I thought there would be an announcement, and I would move on and do the work. But to see so many women being encouraged maybe thinking about the opportunity to lead in sports marketing, management, and just the general entertainment industry, it’s been incredibly heartwarming.”

Sandra Douglass Morgan
(Photo courtesy of Ricardo Aguilera / The BIG Agency)

The historic achievements with the Raiders don’t just end with Douglass Morgan. Within the AFC West team, its leadership team is 50% women, and the business operation team is 30% women. And while the Raiders weren’t playing in Sunday’s SB LVIII, these teams within the organization — with Douglass Morgan at the helm — played a large part in Las Vegas having an incredibly successful week as the host of the Big Game.

But before that, during the Sports Power Brunch, Douglas Morgan was honored with the Leadership Award and acknowledged the many women who, like her, also bet on themselves.

“For me, this award is not just a reflection of my own personal journey, but a testament to the collective effort and resilience of the countless women who dared to dream and challenge the status quo,” she said to the audience.

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Building Raiders with Vegas

When Douglass Morgan was appointed the Raiders’ President in July 2022 by owner Mark Davis, he called her “a force to be reckoned with,” and her accomplishments within the organization surely reflect that. As head of the team, Douglass Morgan oversees all business operations of the Raiders, including but not limited to ensuring corporate obligations are met and growing the franchise’s footprint in the overseas market.

As anyone who’s been to Sin City knows, Las Vegas has long been a hotbed for entertainment and fun. But these days, with Douglass Morgan and the Raiders expanding their reach to new corners of the city, Vegas is making a case for itself as the hottest, newest sports market.

The Vegas Golden Knights are the reigning Stanley Cup champions, while the Las Vegas Aces are setting the standard in the WNBA as the back-to-back champions of the league (Aces President Nikki Fargas was also honored at the Sports Power Brunch with the Impact Award). And, of course, there’s the Raiders, who are attracting the likes of Tom Brady to their ownership group, with another fellow Oakland franchise in the Athletics potentially on the way after having been approved by MLB owners to relocate.

Seemingly, everyone is trying to get in on the sports action in Las Vegas, and with all eyes on as the host city of Super Bowl LVIII, Douglass Morgan had a big responsibility to execute. Leading up to it, she held the role of Vice Chair on the host committee. In this role, like her year-round obligations and duties, Douglass Morgan helped secure six-figure sponsorships, scouted and selected locations of events during Super Bowl week, managed any concerns at Allegiant Stadium, and more.

Simply put, this last week in Las Vegas doesn’t happen without Douglass Morgan’s tireless efforts.

“There’s been over two years of planning, and now we’re seeing the execution take place right before our eyes,” Douglass Morgan told Boardroom. “We’ve had an incredibly hardworking team help pull this off for us. So, I’m grateful to have been able to be a part of bringing a Super Bowl to Las Vegas.”

Sandra Douglass Morgan
(Photo courtesy of Ricardo Aguilera / The BIG Agency)

Not Done Yet

Even though the Super Bowl festivities are in the rear-view mirror in Las Vegas, all eyes will remain on the Raiders in what will be a pivotal offseason.

After a strong showing under the interim tag, the team officially made Antonio Pierce its head coach heading into the 2024 campaign, a popular move among the players. The franchise’s front office is proof that diversity remains a priority, and while she can only speak on behalf of the Raiders, Douglass Morgan lauded the NFL for its effort to encourage more exposure and create more opportunities for women in football — in business, football operations, scouting, etc.

“I have to give hats off to Jonathan Beane [NFL Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer],” she said. “We’re kind of leading the charge as well. We’re happy to support the NFL and the league in any of their diversity initiatives.”

This upcoming season will mark two years in her role for Douglass Morgan, but as for what’s next, the pioneering playmaker said that she’ll concentrate on maintaining the momentum of the Super Bowl excitement this offseason. Fans and tourists alike can look forward to more unique activations across the city that strengthen the club’s relationship with Las Vegas.

Douglass Morgan carries a great sense of pride as the first Black woman president of an NFL team, but she hopes she won’t be alone for much longer. She’s already busted down the doors and hopes her efforts will inspire those who come after her.

Just minutes after receiving her award at the Sports Power Brunch, Boardroom asked Douglass Morgan what she might tell her younger self if she could.

“To be confident to support and surround yourself with positive people who want to see you excel on your journey and wholeheartedly support you along the way,” she said with a smile.

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