Special Initiatives and Projects

Global Sports Mentoring Program

Department of State’s empowering women through sports initiatives are designed to inspire participants to take these lessons of equality worldwide. Learn more


Sports and Sustainability Initiative

Through a number of international efficiency-themed inbound and outbound sports exchanges, the Sports Diplomacy Division has entered the “greening game.” Learn more


Silk Road Ultra Marathon

From June 29 to July 10, 2016, the U.S. Department of State sponsored ultra-marathon legend Dean Karnazes as he follows the ancient Silk Road through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan to mark the 25th anniversary of these countries’ independence from the Soviet Union. Read Dean's daily blog posts from the run. 


U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE)

U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) aims to enhance and strengthen ties between the citizens of the United States and China in the areas of sports, education, culture, science and technology and women's issues. Thus, sports diplomacy is one of the key elements of this greater cross-national engagement.

Forty years ago, "ping pong diplomacy" paved the way for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China. Since then, sports have continued to play an important role in bringing the people of our two countries together. The U.S. Department of State has organized several programs for Chinese athletes and coaches to exchange ideas and cultures through basketball, soccer and disability inclusive sports. As part of the Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative, the U.S. Department of State organized a WNBA Basketball Envoy program in northern China. The U.S. Department of State looks forward to continued contributions to the CPE through other unique programs in 2012 and 2013.


U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission

Recognizing the need to make a fresh start in relations between the United States and Russia, the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission was created to improve coordination between our countries, address shared challenges, and explore new opportunities for partnerships in areas of mutual interest. The U.S. Department of State plays an active role in the Commission's Working Group on Education, Culture, Sports, and Media, which focuses on developing connections and innovative collaborations to promote new dialogue and understanding between the people of the United States and Russia.


Since May of 2010, several delegations of young American and Russian athletes and their coaches have shared their cultures through sports diplomacy exchange programs in hockey, swimming, basketball and volleyball.

The basketball visitors had a chance to meet NCAA coaches after Final Four victories on the court.

Empowering Women and Girls Trough Sports

A global effort to engage women and girls through sports.

Learn more