President | VP, Market Strategy – United Soccer Coaches | ata football
Dr. Ashlee Fontes-Comber
Dr. Fontes-Comber is an award-winning and history-making women’s football aficionado contributing to driving the advancement of the women’s game for over 20 years. She is a leading figure ingrained in Women’s Football as a player, coach, executive/board member, consultant, and start-up veteran.
She currently serves as the first elected female of color in the 80+ history of United Soccer Coaches, the world’s largest soccer coaching association. As President she leads with integrity and inclusivity; listening to all voices and challenging systemic issues.
Fontes-Comber spearheads market strategy as Vice President for ata football, which is putting women’s football center stage, cultivating a culture of fandom, and generating a virtuous cycle of reinvestment.
Ashlee helped found the Girls Academy (GA) to ensure tens of thousands of the top female athletes across the country were not displaced after the demise of the U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy in 2020. She established the For the Players, By the Players cornerstone philosophy to always involve and listen to the players. Fontes-Comber led innovative branding and commercial efforts while negotiating multiple multi-year six-figure deals for the women’s game all while working to complete her doctorate from the Florida State University.
Previously, she was the first female of color to run a professional soccer franchise in the United States. As first in charge of the NWSL’s Washington Spirit, she built it into a championship contending club from scratch during her tenure. She transformed D.C. United Women into the Washington Spirit, creating infrastructure and revenue streams for long-term sustainability and profitability. She is also a former professional and collegiate athlete at Florida State University.