Patricia St Peter is one of four candidates aiming to suceed Jan Dijkema as ISU President ©US Figure Skating

Patricia St Peter has pledged to create an integrity unit and launch a review of the International Skating Union (ISU) should she become the organisation’s new President.

The American official has revealed her plans for the ISU following the release of her manifesto, entitled Leading through engagement, action and growth.

The publication comes a little under a month before members are set to vote on who will succeed outgoing President Jan Dijkema of The Netherlands at the ISU’s electoral Congress.

St Peter is planning to serve just one four-year term as President due to ISU’s maximum age limit of 75 for anyone standing for election.

The former head of US Figure Skating claims the ISU is facing the "most challenging" period in its 130-year history and is convinced she is the right person to steer the organisation through the troubled times.

"Right now there is talk of a potential worldwide recession and we continue to have to deal with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic," St Peter told insidethegames.

"I believe at this point in time that I am the best candidate for the ISU given the many significant challenges that it is currently facing all at the same time.

"I have proven success as a leader, with extensive experience and knowledge and expertise leading an organisation through challenging times.

"I have had key roles at multiple levels of figure skating organisations,

"I have experience as an attorney at an international law firm dealing with high-stake, complex business matters combined with my expertise and proven success as a manager and consensus builder.

"Given the experience I have had and my background and track record I believe that at this point in time I am the right person to lead the ISU through the next four years."

Patricia St Peter has vowed to put member federation at the centre of her plans for the ISU ©Patricia St Peter
Patricia St Peter has vowed to put member federation at the centre of her plans for the ISU ©Patricia St Peter

St Peter was elected to the ISU Council in 2016 and served on the organisation’s Disciplinary Commission from 2004 to 2006.

She also led US Figure Skating between 2009 and 2014 after claiming to have taken over the national governing body when it was operating at a "multi-million-dollar deficit".

"When I was elected President, the major recessive in the US was going and we had zero sponsors," said St Peter.

"I put together a team of stakeholders, who worked together to figure out how to increase revenues over the course of several years.

"During the time I was President it was grew by 40 per cent and we managed expenses in such a way where we didn’t need to make cuts in athlete funding, programmes and member services.

"As we are coming out of this pandemic, we are in a similar situation, but the ISU is very strong. 

"It has had excellent fiscal management and that’s one of the reasons for its longevity."

A new integrity unit and a review of the ISU form part of St Peter's Presidential bid ©Patricia St Peter
A new integrity unit and a review of the ISU form part of St Peter's Presidential bid ©Patricia St Peter

Despite her praise for the ISU, Peter plans to appoint a "special commission" to review and make recommendations to "modernise" the organisation’s Constitution with "a focus on transparency".

St Peter also wants to establish an ISU Integrity Unit in a bid to "ensure an equal and just field of play".

"Currently the various integrity issues that exist in sport like anti-doping, ethical offences and the potential for competition manipulation are addressed through the Code of Ethics," said St Peter.

"There are highly professional individuals on the staff of the Secretariat, combined with excellent legal advisors, who handle these kinds of matters.

"We also have a Disciplinary Commission that has proven to be successful in handling complaints involving allegations of doping or ethical violations.

"The concept would be to create a structure within the organisation and consolidate what already exists to a single unit.

"I do think it is an excellent move [to create an integrity unit] so that there is a specific organisational unit within a sports organisations that one can present a report and observations to and just to have it all coordinated."

St Peter claims she is taking a strategic approach to the ISU, looking to put member federations at the heart of the organisation where she hopes to bring "sustainable and meaningful growth", "greater engagement and resources" and "enhanced governance and athlete wellbeing".

St Peter claims the ISU is facing its
St Peter claims the ISU is facing its "most challenging" period in its 130-year history ©Getty Images

Expanding marketing reach, fostering new sponsors to provide additional sources of "untapped revenue", innovating events through an "end-to-end review" and the "reimagination of our format and presentation" and improving communication platforms to increase fans are other ambitions for St Peter.

St Peter also wants to create an "ISU event hosting playbook for members" in a bid to enhance athlete and fan experience and develop online education tools for athletes, coaches, entourages and officials.

"When you look at the three cornerstones in my overall strategy, they are interrelated and equally important because the ISU can only have continued success if the members are strong and successful," added St Peter.

"The bottom line is that I believe that I can make a difference by putting teams together and collaborating in a positive way for a sustainable and successful future for the ISU and its members."

St Peter faces opposition from Finland’s Susanna Rahkamo, South Korea’s Kim Jae-youl and Serbia’s Slobodan Delić for the top job at the ISU.

The next President of the ISU is due to be elected at the organisation’s Congress, set to be held in Phuket in Thailand from June 6 to 10.

St Peter’s full manifesto can be read here.