Carmen Policy (born January 26, 1943) is an attorney and American football executive best known for his work for the San Francisco 49ers during the 1980s and 1990s. He also led the Cleveland Browns until he sold his minority ownership stake in 2004.
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Policy was graduated in 1963 from Youngstown University. He earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1966. While practicing law, he was listed in the industry publication The Best Lawyers in America.
San Francisco 49ers
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Policy joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1983 as vice president and counsel. In 1991, he became president and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers and played a key role in the 49ers Super Bowl victories in 1985, 1989, 1990, and 1995. In 1994, he was named the National Football League Executive of the Year by The Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly, as voted on by NFL owners and executives. The Sporting News and GQ also named him one of the "Most Influential People in Professional Sports".
His partnership with 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo ended in the late 1990s due to "mistrust and front-office power plays".
He was involved with the current incarnation of the Cleveland Browns. While serving as President and CEO of the Browns, Policy served as a member of the NFL Business Ventures Committee as well as the Super Bowl Advisory Committee and the Los Angeles Market Advisory Group. He also served as a member of the NFL Finance Committee. Policy stepped down as president and CEO of the Cleveland Browns on May 1, 2004.
In 1994, then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue appointed Policy and owners Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers and Pat Bowlen of the Denver Broncos to "negotiate on behalf of the NFL" for the Oakland Raiders to play in a proposed stadium in Hollywood Park. However, the deal fell through and owner Al Davis moved the team back to Oakland.
Carmen Policy was hired by the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers on May 18, 2015, to lead their efforts in building a stadium in Carson, California. He was the headman of the Carson stadium project until the Rams move to Los Angeles on January 12, 2016.
Policy and his wife Gail endowed the Carmen and Gail Policy Clinical Fellowship at the Georgetown University Law Center, which promotes advocacy of civil rights issues. His son, Ed Policy, was Deputy Commissioner of the Arena Football League, and took over in an interim basis after Commissioner David Baker stepped down two days before the ArenaBowl in 2008. His other son, James Policy, is an orthopedic surgeon at Stanford University Medical Center specializing in pediatric spine surgery.
After he retired from the NFL in 2004, Policy has focused on developing his Casa Piena vineyards in Yountville, California.