People always ask Lisa Stokes about the worst celebrities, but she’d really rather talk about the nice ones. And most of them—when they’re actually given a chance to be themselves—are, indeed, nice, fun, regular people.
It’s that kind of insight that Stokes, a 2020 graduate of Georgetown’s Master’s in Sports Industry Management program, brings to her job as Director of Casting, Booking & Talent Marketing for ESPN. When she’s on a PSA or commercial shoot with people like Steve Carell or Steph Curry, she knows how overscheduled they can be and protective of their privacy.
So, while part of her reacts like it’s “my 12-year-old self’s dream,” she also tells herself: “Let’s make this their best stop. Let’s try to have some fun with them and make it enjoyable, not so much ‘get the best out of them.’”
Talent, hard work, and an engaging lack of pretension has characterized Stokes’ career since she was Captain of the varsity women’s basketball team at Suffolk University, from which she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She’s been at ESPN since 2008, when she joined the network as Senior Talent Producer.
Stokes, who lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three young children, wanted to earn a graduate degree so she could teach, and taking Georgetown’s program online allowed her to fit graduate work into her busy schedule.
Now an adjunct professor herself at Georgetown, she appreciated that the program was taught, not by people who were simply talking about the profession, but doing the actual work.
“In my own personal experience, my best teachers and professors have been people in the industry,” Stokes said. “I really want to offer that. I really want to be a part of that.”