USGA Leadership

Thomas Pagel

Chief Governance Officer

Thomas Pagel is the USGA’s Chief Governance Officer, a title he assumed in 2018 after overseeing the Rules of Golf and Rules of Amateur Status teams for seven years.  

In his current role, he adds oversight of both the Rules of Equipment Standards and the Rules of Handicapping, serving as the USGA’s primary global governance leader. Pagel is a member of the USGA executive team and reports directly to the CEO.

Pagel’s golf career began in 2002 when he was selected as a P.J. Boatwright intern to support his home state’s Colorado Golf Association. Developed by the USGA in 1991, the national paid internship program provides a career pathway into golf administration for hundreds of aspiring leaders each year.

He was hired as a full-time staff member by the CGA following his internship and served in a variety of leadership positions until the end of 2007, when he joined the Utah Golf Association as its executive director.

Among his many responsibilities at the USGA, Pagel has led the Rules Modernization initiative, a multi-year global effort with The R&A to make the playing Rules of Golf easier to understand and apply for all golfers.

He also assumes oversight of the implementation of the World Handicap System, which was introduced globally in 2020.

Pagel received his undergraduate from Colorado State University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Utah.

He and his wife Courtney reside in Bernardsville, N.J., with their two children.