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Diplomacy in Action

The U.S. Department of State's Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 21, 2012


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called on leading American women to serve on the U.S. Department of State’s Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports.

The members of the Council, which is comprised of current and retired athletes, coaches, corporate executives, journalists, and trailblazers in women’s sports, will engage audiences in the United States and overseas to elevate the global conversation on sports as a means of empowerment.

These women have excelled both on and off the field and displayed their strong commitment to advancing the rights of women and girls worldwide.

The Council will support the broader goals of the Department’s Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative, which mobilizes all of the Department’s international sports programming, from Sports Envoys traveling overseas to Sports Visitors traveling to the United States to increase the number of women and girls worldwide who are involved in sports. A cornerstone of this initiative is the creation of a new sports mentorship program that will connect women and girls from across the globe with their American counterparts.

The Council builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power,” which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools—in this case American women in sports—to empower girls and foster greater understanding.

The Members of the Council are:

Tamika Catchings
Donna de Varona
Julie Foudy
Laura Gentile
Mia Hamm
April Heinrichs
Sally Jenkins
Billie Jean King
Michelle Kwan
Jessica Mendoza
Ibtihaj Muhammad
Aimee Mullins
Sarah Robb O’Hagan
Angela Ruggiero
Annika Sorenstam
Sage Steele
Vivian Stringer
Pat Summitt

For more information on the Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative, please log on to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ website at

PRN: 2012/1027

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