espnW and the U.S. Department of State will host the eighth year of the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) from October 11 – November 19. Sixteen emerging female leaders from around the world will begin a month-long mentorship in the United States alongside top American female executives from some of the most influential organizations in sports and business. During the program, the mentors will share valuable business leadership skills and assist the emerging leaders in developing strategic action plans aimed at creating sports opportunities for underserved women and girls in their home countries.
“Year in and year out, we’re constantly motivated by the purpose and initiative the participants bring to the Global Sports Mentoring Program,” said Laura Gentile, ESPN senior vice president, marketing. “Heading into our eighth year, the GSMP has delivered enduring inspiration and concrete solutions by establishing opportunities for girls and women in each participant’s community. We’ve created a sisterhood around the world that is experiencing the best of what America has to offer, and we look forward to the influence and insight we’ll gain from this year’s class.”
Including ESPN, the executive mentors in the 2019 program represent the following organizations: the Big East Conference; Creative Artists Agency (CAA); Google; LISC; Minnesota Lynx/Timberwolves; the NCAA; New Balance; the NHL; Saatchi & Saatchi, Spurs Sports & Entertainment; the University of Connecticut; and the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA).
This year’s emerging leaders hail from 14 countries and territories across the globe: Albania, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, El Salvador, Hungary, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Samoa and Serbia. Albania, El Salvador, Hungary and Lithuania are new countries to the program this year. The program has seen 114 alumnae from 58 nations launch initiatives that promote inclusion and create opportunities for the underserved in their home countries, including 2013 participant Fatima Saleem, a sports journalist in Pakistan, who has worked to give young women in her country a rare chance to get in the game, and 2015 participant Racha Kalot, who developed a program that uses basketball and other sports to empower girls in her home country of Lebanon. 2017 participants Xinyi Hua and Po-Chun Liu were named to Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in International Sport list for 2018. Xinyi, a Chinese sports journalist and one of few female news directors in the country, was No. 21, and Po-Chun, Taiwan’s first female baseball umpire, was No. 18.
The GSMP, created in 2012, is part of the U.S. Department of State’s dedication to advancing the rights of girls and women around the world, and is conducted in coordination with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society to engage, inspire, and empower a new generation of women and girls through sports. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #empowerwomen.
espnW is a global multiplatform brand dedicated to engaging and inspiring women through sports. espnW.com, the brand’s content home, offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and captures the biggest trends in sports life/style. espnW also provides a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women and highlights the crossroads of sports and culture. Founded in July 2010, espnW’s content and voices live across digital, television, radio, films, events, educational platforms and social media.
About U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs promotes mutual understanding between Americans and people from around the world through a wide range of academic, cultural, private sector, professional and sports exchange programs. These international exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes and emerging leaders from the United States and nearly 170 countries. Alumni of these exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 350 current or former heads of state and government.