Dawson took over as chief executive officer of U.S. Masters Swimming in March 2016. He leads the National Office staff in providing support for the organization’s members, clubs, events, coaches, instructors, partners, volunteers, and Local Masters Swimming Committees. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations and National Office staff, Dawson was instrumental in creating the partnership with the USA Swimming Foundation that supports our cause marketing efforts related to Adult Learn-to-Swim, and he serves on the USA Swimming Foundation Board of Directors. He has guided the ongoing digital transformation to create greater efficiency in our operations, led the implementation of the USMS Community in 2021, and has overseen the formation of College Club Swimming in 2017, the Swim.com USMS Fitness Series in 2018, and the recent addition of virtual competitions such as the TYR Last One Fast One event.

Prior to joining USMS, Dawson spent six years at the Orange Bowl Committee, a South Florida nonprofit sports organization that features a year-round schedule of events that culminate with the Capital One Orange Bowl. His career in sports began in San Diego, where he directed ticketing efforts for the San Diego Padres for seven seasons, followed by two years with the Kansas City Royals overseeing ticket sales and marketing.

A native of Newport Beach, California, Dawson grew up in and around the water and began swimming competitively at the age of 8 with the Irvine Novaquatics. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and swam for the Wolverines for two years. After concluding his swimming career, he spent his junior year studying abroad at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Dawson and his wife, Kelly, live in Nokomis, Florida with their twins, a boy and a girl. Kelly, also a Southern California native, teaches fifth-grade science and social studies.