Sports Envoys are recruited by the U.S. Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy Division in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) in collaboration with American professional sports leagues, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committees, and national sports federations. Overseas, the Sports Diplomacy Division partners with U.S. embassy and consulate colleagues to plan and implement Sports Envoy programs. A U.S. nonprofit organization serves as the logistical implementing partner.
Sports Envoys channel their expertise and passion into positive social change through:By offering new energy, ideas, networks, and resources, Sports Envoys are part of a much larger strategy to engage foreign communities in unique and powerful ways. Sports Envoys are able to reach new audiences and inspire them with messages of resilience, unity, mutual respect, and hope. As role models for youth around the world, Sports Envoys use sport to advance and complement foreign policy objectives such as empowering women and girls, promoting access and inclusion for persons with disabilities, and providing historically disadvantaged communities with increased educational and economic opportunities. By working in tandem with U.S. embassies and consulates, Sports Envoys contribute to the U.S. State Department’s larger mission – to make the world more stable, sustainable, equitable, and secure.
U.S. embassies and consulates around the world collaborate with foreign NGOs, universities, sports leagues, and governments to tackle community challenges and enhance diplomatic relations. In coordination with the Sports Diplomacy Division in ECA, U.S. embassies and consulates submit proposals that address specific priorities within local communities. Upon receiving proposals, the Sports Diplomacy Division coordinates with national leagues, teams, and federations to identify and recruit the most dynamic Sports Envoys for each unique program mission. ECA’s Sports Diplomacy Division then coordinates among the Sports Envoys, the U.S.-based implementing partner, the in-country U.S. embassy or consulate, and their local partner to bring the 1-2 week program to life.
Want to learn more? Check out our Sports Envoy information booklet.