Jean Afterman enters her 17th season as the Yankees’ Assistant General Manager and seventh as Senior Vice President in 2018. She became only the third female to hold the position of Assistant General Manager in Major League Baseball history, and is currently the only woman to hold the title.
Ms. Afterman has been an integral part of the Yankees’ efforts and operations in Asia. In her first year with the Yankees, she was instrumental in developing the club’s relationship with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Central League and signing three-time MVP Hideki Matsui. In 2007, she joined team President Randy Levine and General Manager Brian Cashman on a week-long trip to Asia that concluded with a working agreement with the Chinese Baseball Association. She once again joined Levine and Cashman in 2010, when the Yankees brought the 2009 World Series trophy to Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong. While in Hong Kong, Ms. Afterman was given the honor of throwing out one of the ceremonial first pitches at the 2010 Phoenix Cup, an annual international women’s baseball tournament.
Her contributions and leadership have been repeatedly recognized. In 2010, Ms. Afterman was named by WISE (Women in Sports and Events) as one of the “Women of the Year,” and was tabbed by New York Moves magazine as a “Power Woman.” Ms. Afterman was named one of the 2004 “Power 100” by the Sporting News, and was selected as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” by the New York Post in 2003 and 2007. Also in 2007, Ms. Afterman was profiled as one of Crain’s New York Business’ “100 Most Influential Women in New York Business.” In 2008, she was profiled by Forbes as one of the top female executives in Baseball, and in 2013, she was once again profiled on the front page of her hometown newspaper, The San Francisco Chronicle. Recently selected by the SportsBusiness Journal as one of their 2017 “Game Changers,” she is a frequent guest speaker at baseball conferences on the topics of women in business and sports, the business of baseball, international business of sports and has been asked to speak at events sponsored by Major League Baseball, Columbia Business School, NYU, Beyond Sport and WISE, among others.
Ms. Afterman joined the Yankees with a diverse business and legal background, focusing on international sports and licensing with an emphasis on U.S.-Japan matters. Prior to joining the Yankees, she managed her own practice, providing athletic representation and management with a specialization in arbitration proceedings. From 1994-99, Ms. Afterman was General Counsel at KDN Sports, Inc., and handled business and legal affairs for international baseball clients, including Hideo Nomo, Hideki Irabu, Masato Yoshii, Alfonso Soriano and more than 30 Major and Minor League players. In 1996, Ms. Afterman was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to a federal advisory committee, the National Organic Standards Board.
A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in 1979, Ms. Afterman was the recipient of the Rosalynn Schneider Eisner Prize and the Mark Goodson Scholarship Grant. She received her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1991. In 2009, she was named “Alumni of the Year” by the Katherine Delmar Burke School in San Francisco.
Ms. Afterman maintains an active role in the Bronx community, working closely with P.S. 35, an elementary school within walking distance from Yankee Stadium. Over the last eight years, she has organized Yankees-sponsored Read-A-Thons and directed a mentoring program which matches Yankees employees with fourth and fifth grade students. Additionally, she has worked with high school-aged students through New York City’s Explorers program, which engages young people through career-orientation programs. She received the 2009 “Exploring Leadership Award” for her work with the group. In 2012 and 2013, she served on the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Sports Foundation, and in 2015, she was appointed to serve on the advisory committee that oversees the Commissioner’s Front Office and Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program.