Dawn Aponte, entering her fourth season with the Miami Dolphins, joined the team on February 1, 2010, bringing with her a wealth of football experience at the team and league level. She was promoted to Executive Vice President of Football Administration in July 2012 after serving as the club's Senior Vice President of Football Operations from 2010-11. Aponte works closely with General Manager Jeff Ireland and Head Coach Joe Philbin on football administrative matters and serves as the team's chief contract negotiator. She is responsible for the management and strategic planning of the Dolphins salary cap, negotiating and drafting player contracts and overseeing the football operations budgets. Aponte also serves as the team's liaison on league affairs.
A veteran football executive, Aponte was selected by the NFL to make a presentation in 2013 at the league's Career Development Symposium at the Wharton School of Business.
Aponte joined the Dolphins after spending the 2009 season as Vice President of Football Administration for the Cleveland Browns. In her role with the Browns, Aponte's primary responsibilities included player contract negotiations, salary cap management, player cost budgeting, league compliance and assisting in other legal matters.
Aponte joined the Browns organization after spending the previous three years at the NFL office, where she served on the League's Management Council as the Vice President of Labor Finance. In her position at the NFL Management Council, Aponte represented the 32 clubs in dealings with the NFL Players Association and Class Counsel on salary cap and other labor related matters. She also dealt with the clubs on CBA, salary cap and player contract matters. Aponte served on the Management Council Working Club Executive Committee and worked with the ten-member owner committee (Management Council Executive Committee) on collective bargaining issues and labor related matters.
Prior to joining the league office, Aponte worked for the New York Jets for nearly 15 years in various capacities, most recently as the club's Senior Director of Football Administration. In that role, she worked closely with the Assistant General Manager on matters pertaining to the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement, player contract negotiations and salary cap management. Aponte graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware in 1993 and passed the C.P.A. exam shortly thereafter. She went on to receive her Master's degree in Finance and Management from Wagner College in 1999, then continued on to earn her Juris Doctorate from New York Law School and is a member of the New York State Bar.
Dawn and her husband, Kevin, have four children, Matthew, Madison, Caroline and Thomas.