Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of State and espnW are proud to announce the mentor organizations and international emerging leaders participating in the 2015 Global Sports Mentoring Program, September 12 to October 17. Now in its fourth year, this program supports the Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, which uses sports as a vehicle to advance the rights of women and girls around the world.

This year’s participants hail from Egypt, France, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, New Zealand, Mexico, Qatar, and Vietnam.

The 16 young women leaders from around the world will work side by side with U.S. senior female executives, who will serve as mentors and share valuable business and leadership skills. The mentors will also support the emerging leaders as they develop strategic action plans to create sports opportunities for women and girls in their home countries. In turn, the women and girls in the emerging leaders’ home countries can experience the many benefits that come from participation in sports, including enhanced self-esteem, improved academic performance, and increased health and wellbeing -- all attributes that help them create stronger, more productive, and stable communities.

Past program participants have launched initiatives that promote inclusion and create opportunities for the underserved in their home countries, such as 2014 participant Dima Alardah, who assists Syrian refugees living in Jordan. Through her partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council, Dima provides vocational training to the women and girls in the camps, as well as opportunities to grow through sports.

This year, mentors represent the following companies and organizations: the Big East Conference, Burton Snowboards, ESPN, Google, Ketchum Sports & Entertainment, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the PGA of America, Saatchi & Saatchi, Spurs Sports & Entertainment, the University of Central Florida, the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and the Women’s Tennis Association.

This public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State and espnW, in cooperation with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society, aims to engage, inspire, and empower a new generation of women and girls through sports.