Webinar: Sports Diplomacy as a Key Tool in U.S. Foreign Policy
Sports Diplomacy as a Key Tool in U.S. Foreign Policy
Trina Bolton, U.S. Department of State
While the United States leveraged the power of sports even before the ping pong diplomacy era, Sports Diplomacy Division at the U.S. Department of State was established in the wake of 9/11 as a means of reaching out to youth in the Middle East through soccer. Its scope has expanded to include all regions, thousands of participants, and the full spectrum of sports. The division’s people-to-people sports exchanges open doors in hard-to-reach places and engage communities at the grassroots level.
While a government-led Ministry of Sport is responsible for sports in many countries, the United States has a different model with leagues, federations, collegiate sports, youth athletics, and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee driving the sports space. The U.S. Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy Division works with these American sports entities and partner non-profits to manage its core sports diplomacy programs. The office often serves as the linchpin between these organizations and U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world to manage four pillars: Sports Envoys, Sports Visitors, the International Sports Programming Initiative, and the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP): the espnW GSMP to empower women and the Sport for Community GSMP on disability rights.
1. What is sports diplomacy? How does the U.S. Department of State use sports diplomacy in foreign policymaking?
2. What are key priorities to the U.S. Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy Division in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs? What skills are necessary to achieve its goals?
3. How can young professionals in international affairs/business become involved in the global sports diplomacy movement? How can it relate to their work?