Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Staci Wilson

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Peru
  • 2016  –  Senegal
  • 2018  –  Niger
  • 2019  –  Nigeria
  • 2019  –  Ethiopia

Staci Wilson – former professional soccer player with extensive experience training athletes, teams and coaches. An NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach, she holds a US Soccer B Coaching License, and has teaching certifications in yoga and Pilates. She played professional soccer for the Carolina Courage and on the 1996 USWNT that won the first ever Olympic Gold Medal for Women’s Football. Currently Wilson coaches youth, high school in south Florida and has a soccer consulting business. She devotes free time to giving back to the sport through charitable organizations that target females and underserved communities.

Siri Mullinix

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2012  –  Venezuela
  • 2013  –  Costa Rica

Currently an assistant coach at Clemson University, Siri Mullinix is the third-most capped goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s National Team. Mullinix earned 45 caps for the U.S. Women between 1999 and 2004. Mullinix was the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. at the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia.
Mullinix was the USA’s back-up goalkeeper at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She earned her first full national team cap against Japan in Atlanta on May 2, 1999. As a member of the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team, Mullinix played in the 1996 Nordic Cup in Sweden and the 1997 Nordic Cup in Denmark.
Mullinix helped lead the Washington Freedom to the WUSA Founders Cup title in 2003. She was an original allocated player in the WUSA for the Washington Freedom in 2001. A three-year starter at the University of North Carolina, Mullinix was a member of three ACC and two NCAA championship teams during her college career. As a freshman, she backed up All American and former national team goalkeeper Tracy Ducar.

Kate Sobrero Markgraf

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2012  –  Ethiopia
  • 2013  –  Chile
  • 2014  –  Peru

Defender Kate Markgraf (née Sobrero) debuted with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 1998 and earned 201 caps before retiring in 2010. Markgraf was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Teams in the 2008, 2004 and 2000 Olympic Games, playing every minute of all three tournaments. Markgraf also helped to lead the team from the backline at the 2007, 2003 and 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cups.

After becoming the only player to play every minute of every U.S. Women’s National Team game in 2005, she had her first child, Keegan, in 2006. In 2009, she once again took time off from soccer, giving birth to twins, a boy and a girl, Xavier and Carson.

Markgraf was a four-year starter at Notre Dame, where she was a three time NSCAA All American, earning First Team honors twice and winning the 1995 NCAA championship.

Allocated to the Chicago Red Stars for the inaugural WPS season in 2009, Markgraf sat out the year as she was pregnant with twins. She was a founding player in the WUSA for the Boston Breakers and in 2003 she started all 19 games in which she played, helping the Breakers to the playoffs for the first time.

Joanna Lohman

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Argentina
  • 2015  –  Thailand
  • 2016  –  Botswana
  • 2017  –  Ivory Coast
  • 2018  –  Niger
  • 2019  –  Nigeria
  • 2021  –  Virtual

Joanna is a former professional soccer player and member of the United States Women’s National Team. Off the field, she is author of the newly released, “Raising Tomorrow’s Champions”, an extraordinary parenting and life lessons book as told through the eyes of the greatest women’s soccer players of all-time. She is also a professional speaker, human rights activist and a Sport Diplomat traveling the world running programs in less developed nations. She strives to live an unabashedly authentic life based around deep-rooted acceptance and helps others discover a comfort in their own skin.

Lori Lindsey

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Canada
  • 2015  –  Egypt
  • 2015  –  Jordan
  • 2016  –  New Zealand
  • 2016  –  Venezuela
  • 2016  –  Samoa
  • 2017  –  Colombia

Lori Lindsey played at the University of Virginia (UVA) from 1998-2001 and was the school’s first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, winning the award two consecutive years (2000, 2001) joining North Carolina’s Mia Hamm as the only other player to achieve that distinction. She finished as the sixth all-time scorer in UVA history with 33 goals and 76 points, NSCAA Second-Team All-American in 2001, and third-Team All-American in 2000. She was also a 2001 finalist for the Mid Atlantic Conference Award and named Female Athlete of the Year at UVA for the 2001-02 academic year.

Lori Lindsey broke into the National Team relatively late in her career but was a consistent call-up from 2009 to 2012. Lori Lindsey made her first appearance on the National Team in July 24, 2005, vs. Iceland. She was called into WNT training camps on the strength of her WPS performance in 2009 but did not appear in a match. Her best and most active year for the USA was in 2010, playing in 13 matches while starting six and upping her career cap total to 14. In 2011 Lori played in 10 games, starting three, and made her first Women’s World Cup team, playing in one match in Germany, starting and playing the entire 90 minutes in the USA’s second group match, with a victory over Colombia. Finally in, 2012 she played in six matches, starting two, and scored her first career national team goal against Guatemala – on a header – at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Vancouver, Canada. She was named as an alternate to the 2012 Olympic Team and traveled with the squad to the U.K

Through the Women’s Professional Soccer League, she played for the Washington Spirit and with Canberra United in Australia. She was the captain of the Washington Spirit in 2013. In the years prior to playing for the Washington Spirit and Canberra United, she also played for the Western New York Flash in the WPSL-Elite and the Philadelphia Independence. Lori was the first player taken in the 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) Expansion Draft by the Independence and that year she was named to the WPS Best XI and was also named to the WPS All-Star Team.

Michelle Kwan

Figure Skating

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  China
  • 2007  –  Russia
  • 2008  –  Argentina
  • 2009  –  Ukraine
  • 2010  –  South Korea
  • 2011  –  Singapore

Michelle Kwan has had a distinguished career in public service, diplomacy, and sports. She is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, having won 43 championships, including five world championships, nine national titles, and two Olympic medals. She became the first Public Diplomacy Envoy in 2006 and for a decade, traveled extensively on behalf of the U.S. Department of State to engage youth around the world on social and educational issues. Kwan currently serves as the Treasurer and Board Member of Special Olympics International.

After she earned a B.A. from the University of Denver with a focus on international relations and a M.A. from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, she became a Senior Advisor at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In addition, she served as an Advisor to the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State, where she assisted with the U.S.-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue. She was also a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and Council on Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports initiative at the U.S. Department of State.

Tony Sanneh

Tony Sanneh

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2010  –  Cyprus
  • 2012  –  Ethiopia
  • 2012  –  Malaysia
  • 2014  –  Bangladesh
  • 2014  –  Bolivia
  • 2018  –  Pakistan
  • 2019  –  Kenya
  • 2019  –  Bahrain
  • 2020  –  Virtual

Among the most successful American soccer players of his generation, Tony Sanneh enjoyed an impressive 17-year professional soccer career. Major career highlights include starring in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, two Major League Soccer championships with D.C. United, and participation in the UEFA Champions League with Hertha Berlin during his six years in the German Bundesliga. Sanneh’s impact on American soccer was recognized by his selection to the Soccer America U.S. Men’s National Team “All-Decade Team,” and he was a finalist for the United States Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

At the height of his playing career, he created The Sanneh Foundation (TSF) to leverage sport’s unique potential to create positive social change for under-served youth through relationships. Since retiring from professional soccer in 2010 and becoming the organization’s full-time CEO, TSF has evolved into one of Minnesota’s leading youth development organizations by serving the holistic youth development needs of increasingly diverse Twin Cities Metro, Central and Southeastern Minnesota.

The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation recently recognized the organization’s work by awarding TSF their annual Sports Award, among the highest honors any organization in the field of health equity and community well-being can receive. The 2018 RWJF Sports award validates The Sanneh Foundation’s approach to creating a culture of community health by leveraging the universal appeal of sports to provide a range of holistic youth programs that address the social determinants that help diverse youth develop the skills to become productive adults

In addition to his executive leadership role with The Sanneh Foundation, Sanneh continues to serve the United States as a Sports Envoy on behalf of the SportsUnited Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Zola Solamente

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Bolivia
  • 2016  –  Jordan
  • 2016  –  Netherlands
  • 2016  –  Senegal
  • 2017  –  Belarus
  • 2017  –  Albania
  • 2018  –  Tajikistan
  • 2019  –  Bahrain

Zola Solamente began playing soccer at the age of 5, with her older brother and his friends. She continued to play with boys until middle school, when she switched to a female club team. From ages 12 – 17 Zola was a captain of her club team, as well as with the Olympic Development Program, and was a member of the East Regional team, which competed internationally.

Zola played at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 1990-1993. She was a starter at UNC for all four years of her career. She won 4 National Championships, 4 ACC Championships, and was named All-American her senior year. She was invited to play on the US Women’s National team in 1993. She traveled with the team for 2.5 years participating in international tournaments.

In 1995 Zola retired from international soccer to become a mother and pursue a career in fine arts. She now owns Arden Gallery Ltd. in Boston, MA, which she has been directing for 18 years. She continues to share her passion for soccer by providing individual and small-group soccer clinics to female players ages 12 – 18 in the greater Boston area. The focus of these training sessions is to improve technical skills, increase tactical awareness, and deepen strength/fitness levels. Since the fall of 2014 she has been traveling with the US State Department as a Sorts Envoy coaching and mentoring children in under-served and at-risk environments in the Middle East, Africa, and South America.