Adolpho Birch serves as Senior Vice President of Labor Policy & League Affairs for the National Football League, which is headquartered in New York, New York. Upon joining the NFL in 1997, his primary responsibility was the enforcement of the League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which encompassed issues including player and Club contract and injury grievances, benefits matters and salary cap disputes. In his current capacity, he oversees the development, administration and enforcement of the League’s critical policies respecting the integrity of the game, including those on substances of abuse, performance-enhancing drugs, gambling and criminal misconduct. Mr. Birch also has advanced the League’s legislative and political interests, working with federal, state and local officials on key league issues such as youth concussion laws, the league’s tax status and the FCC’s blackout rule. He also previously directed the League’s player development efforts, which comprise a number of programs designed to support player and employee off-field success, focusing on continuing education, financial education, career development and clinical assistance.
Prior to joining the NFL, Mr. Birch was in private practice in Houston, Texas, initially with Fulbright & Jaworski’s Antitrust/Complex Litigation and Public Law group; and later with a boutique firm specializing in labor, insurance defense and municipal finance. Preceding his firm affiliations, he served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Mr. Birch attended Vanderbilt University Law School as a Patricia Roberts Harris Scholar, serving on the Editorial Board of the Vanderbilt Law Review and earning his juris doctorate in 1991. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard University, where he graduated with honors in Government and participated as a member of the junior varsity lacrosse and basketball teams, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and other student organizations.
Mr. Birch was raised in Nashville and is actively involved in a number of professional and philanthropic organizations including the Sports Lawyers Association (Board Member), Partnership for Clean Competition (Board of Governors), Why Not Sports? (Board Member), New York City Business of Sports High School (Advisory Board Member) and the National Bar Association. In October 2010, Mr. Birch was chosen as one of the top 100 leaders of the African-American community by The Root, a media collaboration between scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and the Washington Post. In May 2014, he was named a Trustee to the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust.