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November 16, 2023

Mission Vietnam is seeking candidates for the Global Sport Mentoring Program (GSMP). The GSMP is a five-week, immersive mentorship that matches international emerging leaders from private, government, and non-profit sectors with leading executives in academic, business, media, and sports sectors from America’s top sports-driven organizations. Using a mentorship and public-private model, institutional linkages and participant-led action plans, delegates learn the skills needed to advance into decision-making positions and create pathways for women and girls and people with disabilities to pursue sport as a passion, profession, educational vehicle, or career. By galvanizing the endeavors of global change agents—both the international participants and American mentors—GSMP supports positive social change, peacebuilding, resilient societies, and economic development at home and abroad.

The GSMP provides emerging leaders with opportunities to:

  • Develop management, social innovation, and business skills that enable women to further contribute to economic growth;
  • Gain exposure to the U.S. sports business, media, start-up, and non-profit environments from the grassroots to boardroom levels;
  • Establish lasting relationships with a global sports network;
  • Develop an innovative project action plan for implementation after returning home that will have long-term positive change.

The GSMP has two distinct programs: Sport for Community, Disability Sport Leaders (Spring 2024) and Department of State-espnW Empowering Women through Sports (Fall 2024).

  • Applications for the Sport for Community, Disability Sport Leaders are due no later than 11.59 PM on November 26, 2023.
  • Applications for the Department of State – espnW Empowering Women Through Sports are due no later than 59 PM on April 28, 2024.

The overarching goal of GSMP: Sport for Community is to increase the number of people with disabilities who experience sports’ many benefits: improved mobility and health, greater independence, increased employment, and higher income potential.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related U.S. laws serve as the driving program theme.

For the mentorship component of the exchange, international delegates are matched with American mentors based on areas of focus in disability sports.  With entrepreneurship and STEM playing key roles in the expansion of adaptive sports, these mentors work with the emerging leaders on innovative, entrepreneurial action plans that often incorporate STEM.  Mentors also connect delegates with a slate of relevant people and organizations.


Female-focused sports diplomacy exchanges are designed to increase the number of women and girls involved in sports around the world so that they can experience its benefits including enhanced self-confidence, improved academic and workplace performance, and increased health and wellness. Women’s and girls’ empowerment exchanges focus on gender equality and its role in sports and conflict resolution/peacebuilding, sports and political/legislative empowerment, or sports and community development/youth outreach programs.

With the lessons of Title IX – the landmark U.S. law that afforded equality for American women in education and sports – as the backbone, the goals of the GSMP are based on a growing body of evidence that women and girls who play sports are likely to excel not only on the playing field, but in the classroom and workplace.  According to studies by the United Nations and Ernst & Young, participation in sports is an important tool toward social and economic empowerment. Through sports, women are better able to reach their potential and contribute to a more secure global society.

  • Must be involved in sports sectors including sports management; coaching; sports journalism, communication or marketing; sports innovation; within Ministries of Sport; disability/adaptive sports; sports philanthropy; and/or sports medicine.
  • Must be able to converse fluently in English (fluency in American Sign Language is required for deaf participants).
  • The recommended age range is 25 to 45.
  • Should be driven to directly improve sports accessibility for women and girls (Empower) or people with disabilities (Sport for Community) in their home countries and beyond; on a leadership trajectory in their respective organizations with an interest in developing new partnerships; confident, mature, and self-motivated towards exceptional success.
  • Should be committed to sharing knowledge and acting as a change agent in home communities; and willing to participate in social media on the program during and after the exchange.
  • This is a fast-paced five-week program with significant international and domestic travel, participants must be willing and able to take part in a physically demanding in a fully immersive mentorship for the full duration of the exchange (Note: Medically necessary reasonable accommodations are made with proper documentation, and activity pace can be adjusted for people with disabilities.).
  1. PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION AND FOLLOW-ON ACTION PLANS – The Public Affairs Section (PAS) will conduct a thorough pre-departure orientation (PDO) with participants, reinforcing the program’s connection to the U.S. foreign policy goals of promoting human rights and inclusion.

Upon their return, the U.S. Embassy will conduct a debrief for the participants and the participants are expected to cooperate with the Embassy in future programming activity and outreach.

Following the program, the participants will be eligible to apply for small grants to implement action plans which should focus on areas in need of change, prevention, or opportunity for new programs in participants’ organizations or communities.

Two to three program participants each year will host reciprocal exchanges with their mentors six to twelve months after the U.S.-based program.  The purpose of these exchanges is to enable the mentors to provide support for their participant’s action plan while learning about the local context.

  1. 4. ACCOMMODATION AND PERSONAL ASSISTANT – The GSMP welcomes participants with disabilities. All participants must be physically and mentally able to engage in rigorous programming for the duration of the exchange. Participants who require a full-time personal assistant are eligible and posts should engage SD, with at least three months lead time to discuss this. Implementing partner program staff is not able to provide direct care for participants who need assistance.  Personal assistants may travel on a J-2 or B-1 visa, depending on the assistant profile and appropriate visa regulations.  In the case of a B-1, the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam is responsible for issuing their visa and addressing any necessary salaries that are required for their travel or work.  In some cases, and if a participant is amenable, a personal assistant may be contracted in the United States.
  • Apply online: https://tinyurl.com/2024GSMP
  • Application Deadline:
  • Sport for Community, Disability Sport Leaders: 11.59 PM on November 26, 2023
  • Department of State – espnW Empowering Women Through Sports: 59 PM on April 28, 2024

No exceptions will be made regarding the deadline.


Eligible candidates may send any questions to:

Public Affairs Section

United States Embassy

170 Ngoc Khanh Streer, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

Email: nguyencm1@state.gov