2017 U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program


The U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) advances the foreign policy goals of empowering women and ensuring a more stable society worldwide. Building on its past five successful years, the flagship partnership with ESPN and espnW continues to pair international emerging leaders with female senior executives at top U.S. organizations for a five week-long mentorship experience. The program promotes public-private partnerships, creates linkages between American executives and sports leaders overseas, leverages digital platforms, and prioritizes themes of entrepreneurship and human rights.

Up to 18 international female candidates will be matched with leading female executives from America’s top sports organizations for a five-week mentorship (September 24 to October 31, 2017). For background information, please see GSMP website: https://globalsportsmentoring.org/

During orientation, participants will engage with U.S. Government officials and high-level figures in sports business and grassroots associations while gaining valuable networking skills. They will also take professional leadership courses and learn about American culture, the American sports structure, and our nation’s history of disability sports and women’s sports.

Participants will then travel to California for the espnW Women + Sport Summit, an event that brings together leading voices and industry influencers to promote positive change for women through sports. Following the summit, participants will travel to their respective mentorship locations to work with a senior female executive, her team, and the organization’s partners. These activities are designed to meet the needs of the participant and inform action plan development. For the final component, the participants will share and evaluate their mentorships and finalize action plans.


As the cornerstone of the Department’s professional sports development initiatives, the GSMP provides emerging leaders with opportunities to:

  • Develop management and business skills that enable women to further contribute to economic growth;
  • Gain exposure to the U.S. sports business, media, and non-profit environments;
  • Establish lasting relationships with a global network of leaders in the sports sector;
  • Develop an action plan for a project that will contribute to long-term positive change, to be implemented after returning home.

The goals of the GSMP are based on a growing body of evidence that women and girls who play sports are increasingly likely to excel not only on the playing field, but in the classroom and workplace. According to studies by the United Nations and others, women and girls’ participation in sports is an important tool toward one’s social and economic empowerment. Through sports, women are better able to reach their full potential and contribute to a more secure global society.

PARTICIPANTS – Participants must be:

  • Women ages 25 to 40 who demonstrate the drive and potential to directly impact the role of women and girls in their home country’s sports sector and beyond;
  • Involved in sports sectors including: sports management; coaching; sports journalism and mass communication; sports marketing; disability sports; social responsibility through sports; and/or sports medicine;
  • Able to converse fluently in English;
  • Able to reach top levels of their organization;
  • Citizens of the respective country, with preference given to candidates who have not traveled to the United States;
  • Firmly committed to the full duration of the program, willing to take part in an immersive mentorship, and interested in developing new partnerships;
  • Confident, mature, self-motivated, and driven towards exceptional success;
  • Committed to sharing knowledge and acting as a change agent in home communities;
  • Willing to participate in social media for the program and alumni activities after the exchange.

PROGRAM OUTLINE – Notional dates and components for 2017:

  • Full program with travel dates (Sunday, September 24 to Tuesday, October 31)
  • Orientation in Washington, D.C. (Monday, September 25 to Saturday, September 30)
  • Travel to espnW Summit in Los Angeles, CA (Sunday, October 1)
  • Attend espnW Summit (Monday, October 2 to Wednesday, October 4)
  • Travel to mentorship site (Thursday, October 5)
  • Three-week mentorship (Friday, October 6 to Wednesday, October 25)
  • Reconvening in Washington, D.C. for closing activities (Thursday, October 26 to Monday, October 30)
  • Depart Washington, D.C. for home (Tuesday, October 31)

After the program, emerging leaders will be eligible to apply for small grants from the GSMP cooperative agreement to implement action plans. These plans should focus on areas in need of change or prevention, or on opportunities for new programs in the participant’s organizations or communities.


  • Complete the GSMP application form (download here).
  • Attach current resume (CV).
  • Attach scanned passport biodata page.
  • Attach letters of recommendation (optional).
  • Email all of these documents to PristinaAlumni@state.gov with the title: “GSMP Application + Your name
  • Application Deadline: Friday, April 7th