Rice, 67, is the director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. She had previously been named as a candidate for the NFL commissioner and was once linked to the Cleveland Browns’ head coach job, speculation she and the team were quick to dismiss. She was also an inaugural member of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
“Her unique experience and extraordinary judgment will be of great benefit to our group and the Broncos organization,” said Walton.
The amount of her investment in the franchise has not been disclosed.
“It’s an honor to be part of this ownership group,” Rice said in a statement released through the Hoover Institution. “Football has been an integral part of my life since the moment it was introduced to me, and I’m excited to be a part of the Broncos organization today. I spent much of my younger years in Denver, so It’s an adventure of a lifetime and a great opportunity to combine my love for the game with my love for this amazing city and team.”
Rice became the first black woman to serve as secretary of state when she succeeded Colin Powell in January 2005. She served until January 2009.
Group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton agrees to buy Broncos for $4.65 billion
Walton’s group agreed in June to buy the Broncos from the Pat Bowlen Trust for $4.65 billion, according to a person familiar with the sale agreement. The deal remains subject to final approval by other NFL team owners.
Walton announced when the deal was closed that Mellody Hobson, the co-CEO of Ariel Investments, had agreed to his ownership group. Hobson, who is Black, is also the chairman of the board of directors of the Starbucks Corporation and a director of JPMorgan Chase.
NFL owners passed a resolution in March approving franchise ownership diversity.