Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Brady Anderson

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2011  –  Japan

Born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Brady attended Carlsbad high school in Carlsbad California where he excelled in baseball earning a scholarship to the University of California where he also studied economics. Brady was selected 10t hoverall in the 1985 MLB amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox. Brady played 15 seasons in the Majors for 3 different teams and was also a 3 time All-Star and also still ranks amongst the top 10 Orioles in career batting leaders for games. In 2004 Brady was inducted in the Orioles Hall Of Fame. On November 8th to 16th 2011 Brady joined Ripken on a trip to Japan as a Sports Diplomat to help spread good will to the local community that was at the time effected by the earthquake and tsunami in March.

Ken Griffey, Jr.

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2011  –  Philippines
  • 2014  –  Mexico
  • 2014  –  Cuba

Ken Griffey Jr. was born Nov. 21, 1969. He is married to Melissa Griffey. They have three children: George Kenneth III (“Trey”), daughter Taryn Kennedy, and adopted son Tevin Kendall.

Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the greatest baseball players in history. “Junior,” as he is often called, won 10 straight Gold Glove awards, was named to the All Star team 13 times, was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1997, and hit at total of 630 home runs, placing him fifth on the all-time list. He is the first son to play on the same team as his father, current Cincinnati Reds coach Ken Griffey Sr. During his career, Ken Griffey Jr. played for the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, plus a short time for the Chicago White Sox.

In November 2008, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named Griffey a public diplomacy envoy. Due to his obligations to Major League Baseball, he was unable to make his first trip until February 2011, when he led a highly successful visit to Manila and Cebu in the Philippines. Ken Griffey Sr. has worked with our sports visitor programs on several occasions, most recently this March with our Honduran baseball coaches program.

Barry Larkin

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2008  –  Colombia
  • 2010  –  Ecuador
  • 2011  –  India
  • 2012  –  Lithuania
  • 2013  –  South Africa
  • 2015  –  Taiwan

Barry Larkin a 19-year Major Leaguer, 12-time National League All-Star, 1995 N.L. Most Valuable Player and MLB Network studio analyst, spent his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds. Larkin served as Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Washington Nationals, specializing in player development and scouting. Larkin also participated in Major League Baseball’s efforts, led by Jim Lefebvre, to develop and train the Chinese National Baseball Team in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Larkin was selected by the Reds in the first round (fourth overall) in 1985 following a standout career at the University of Michigan. Larkin batted .353 in the 1990 World Series to help lead the Reds to a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics. He won three consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Awards from 1994-96. He earned 1995 N.L. MVP honors by hitting .319 with 15 home runs, 66 RBI and 51 stolen bases. In 1996, Larkin became the first Major League shortstop to join the 30-30 club when he hit 33 home runs and stole 36 bases. Larkin was named the Reds’ captain before the 1997 season.

Larkin batted .295, with 2,340 hits, 198 home runs, 960 RBI, 1,329 runs scored and 379 stolen bases. Baseball historian Bill James has called Larkin one of the greatest shortstops of all time, ranking him #6 all-time in his New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.

In 1993 Larkin won the Roberto Clemente Award, Major League Baseball’s highest off-field honor, for his philanthropy. In 2008, Larkin released a charity wine called “Barry Larkin’s Merlot,” with 100% of his proceeds supporting Champions Sports Foundation.

Cal Ripken, Jr.

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  China
  • 2008  –  Nicaragua
  • 2011  –  Japan
  • 2018  –  Czech Republic
  • 2021  –  Japan

Cal Ripken Jr. is baseball’s all-time Iron Man. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the 1978 MLB draft, remaining with the team for 21 seasons in which during his time, was managed by his father and played alongside his brother Billy Ripken

His name appears in the record books repeatedly, most notably as one of only ten players in history to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. One of his position’s most offensively productive players, Ripken compiled 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, and 1,695 runs batted in during his career. Won two Gold Glove Awards for his defense and was a 19-time All-Star. In 1995, Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s Major League record for consecutive games played (2,130) and in 1996 he surpassed Sachio Kinugasa’s streak of 2,215 straight games and voluntarily ended his streak on September 20, 1998 after playing 2,632 consecutive games.

On July 29, 2007 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Cal received the 4th highest percentage of votes in history, collecting the second highest vote total ever (98%) by the BBWAA.

In 2001, he and his family established the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in memory of the family’s patriarch. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, using sports-themed programs to bring police officers, youth partners and underserved kids ages 9 to 14 together on a level playing field to learn invaluable life skills. In addition, the Ripken Foundation’s Youth Development Park Initiative creates clean, safe places for kids to play on multi-purpose, synthetic surface fields that promote healthy living in an outdoor recreational facility. Over the last nine years, the Ripken Foundation has created 88 completed parks across the country in 23 states, 17 of which are Adaptive Fields for children with special needs. In 2018, the Ripken Foundation impacted over 1.5 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Park and mentoring programs.

Tiffany Roberts-Sahaydak

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2006  –  Uganda
  • 2007  –  Philippines
  • 2010  –  Thailand
  • 2011  –  Brazil
  • 2014  –  Brazil
  • 2015  –  Indonesia
  • 2017  –  Belarus
  • 2017  –  Albania
  • 2019  –  Egypt

An Olympic gold medalist, World Cup champion and two-time NCAA champion, Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak was named head women’s soccer coach at UCF in May 2013.

A three-time American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Roberts Sahaydak has wasted no time in putting her stamp on UCF’s successful program. Under her guidance, the Knights have earned four NCAA Tournament bids and four American Athletic Conference championships while boasting 11 conference Player of the Year awards and 38 all-league and tournament selections.

In her first season (2013), she led UCF to a school-record unbeaten streak (18 matches), an NSCAA national standing through much of the year and the program’s first undefeated conference season since 1999. In addition, UCF made history as the first program to win an American Athletic Conference Championship.

Roberts Sahaydak came to Orlando after serving six seasons at VCU alongside her co-head coach, husband and current UCF associate head coach Tim Sahaydak.

Roberts Sahaydak spent a decade with the U.S. National Team from 1994-2004, earning 112 caps (with 60 starts). Her career was highlighted by three women’s World Cups – among them, the unforgettable 1999 championship – and a gold medal with the 1996 Olympic team.

After retiring from the USWNT, she has served as an ambassador for U.S. Soccer with the U.S. Department of State Sports Envoy Program since 2007, promoting the power and benefit of sport internationally. With the program, she has visited Indonesia, Uganda, the Philippines, Thailand, Namibia, Brazil and France. In 2014, she was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Presidential Delegation to the Federative Republic of Brazil at the opening of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. She is a native of San Ramon, Calif., and was selected as the 1994 California High School Player of the Year.

She was a three-time Parade High School All-American, a three-time NSCAA All-American and was the two-time National Girl’s High School Player of the Year. She debuted for the Stars and Stripes in 1994 when she was only 16 as one of the youngest players ever to suit up for the National Team. She played in her first FIFA Women’s World Cup a month after her 18th birthday and won Olympic gold before she was out of her teens (USSoccer.com).

As a collegian, Roberts Sahaydak was a standout midfielder for North Carolina (1995-98) as a three-time All-ACC First Team selection. She led the Tar Heels to two NCAA titles (1996, 1997) during her tenure, was voted the 1998 ACC Tournament MVP and finished third in voting for collegiate soccer’s highest honor, the Hermann Trophy.

She still ranks among the top five for career starts in UNC’s record book.She was a two-time captain for the Carolina Courage in the first fully professional U.S. women’s league (Women’s United Soccer Association). She helped the Courage win the 2002 title after finishing last in the team’s inaugural campaign one year prior.

Roberts Sahaydak took over VCU’s program in 2007 and led the Rams to three conference championship game appearances. She was voted as the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Co-Head Coach of the Year, along with her husband Tim. The duo mentored two CAA Defenders of the Year, one CAA Rookie of the Year and 20 all-conference players, including six first-team honorees.The Sahaydaks reside in Orlando with their two daughters, Layla and Evie.

“It’s been a life changing experience being involved in the Sports Diplomacy Envoys. I have had the good fortune of participating in programs all over the globe, and I’ve worked together with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I am constantly reminded that sport can bring us closer together. We can celebrate our differences and our common interests. Every time we start to play a game we start to connect and the world seems to get a bit smaller.”

Briana Scurry

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2011  –  Germany

With an integral role on the team that set the standard for women’s soccer, Briana Scurry is widely recognized as one of the world’s most talented and influential goalkeepers. Her 173 international appearances as one of the first African-American professional female soccer players helped significantly diversify the sport.

Named starting goalkeeper for the United States Women’s National Team in 1994, she led the team on an illustrious run that included two Olympic gold medals. In the 1999 FIFA World Cup Championship – which represented one of the most seminal events in American athletic history – Briana made the iconic shootout save that carried the United States to victory.

Briana pioneered the first paid professional women’s soccer league as a founding player in 2001. As captain of the Atlanta Beat, she competed in two WUSA Championships. In 2010, Briana suffered a debilitating concussion that led to her retirement. Since then, Briana has repurposed her visibility to become one of the nation’s foremost thought leaders on traumatic brain injuries.

Through her immeasurable impact on the landscape of women’s soccer and American sports culture, Briana received the National Association of Black Journalists’ Sam Lacy Award, inclusion in the United States Women’s National Team’s All-Time Best XI, and a permanent feature as the Title IX exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. In 2017, Briana was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

As one of the first African American and openly LGBT professional female soccer players, Briana Scurry has championed diversity and equality throughout her legendary career. The epitome of a team player with a palpable love of the game, Briana draws on her resiliency to advocate for equality, traumatic brain injury awareness, and the development of women’s soccer. Briana channels her ability to overcome obstacles to provide insight on the importance of teamwork, motivation, focus, and strategies for leveraging personal strengths.

Amanda Cromwell

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2009  –  Bolivia
  • 2011  –  Germany
  • 2012  –  Argentina
  • 2013  –  Costa Rica
  • 2015  –  Bolivia
  • 2019  –  Costa Rica

One would be hard-pressed to find a coach who made as big of an impact in her first season as Amanda Cromwell. Eight months after being hired on Apr. 12, 2013 as the fifth head coach in UCLA women’s soccer history, Cromwell led her team to the program’s first-ever NCAA Championship, and she took her Bruins to a second championship game appearance four years later in 2017.

In six seasons as UCLA head coach, she has taken her teams to two College Cups, four quarterfinals and five Round of 16 appearances, along with two Pac-12 team titles. On Oct. 5, 2017, she earned her 300th career victory. Academically, her teams have earned the United Soccer Coaches College Team Academic Award in each of her seasons at UCLA. Additionally, the 2018 Bruins won the Pac-12 Sportsmanship Award, and the 2017 squad received a Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award from the United Soccer Coaches. Six Cromwell-coached Bruins participated in the 2019 World Cup, including three – Abby Dahlkemper, Sam Mewis and Mal Pugh – from the winning U.S. squad.

Cromwell’s 2013 Bruins finished the season with a 22-1-3 record and went unbeaten over their last 21 games. They gave up just one goal during the NCAA Tournament and only eight goals all season, leading the nation in goals against average (0.296). In addition to winning the national championship, the team won the Pac-12 title and tied the school record for most victories in a season. Dahlkemper won the Honda Award, and three Bruins earned All-America honors, with five receiving first-team NSCAA All-Region honors. Cromwell herself was named Soccer America’s Coach of the Year, the first-such honor for a UCLA women’s soccer coach.

Year two of the Cromwell era was nearly as successful, as the Bruins went undefeated in their first 23 games before falling to Virginia in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Still, the Bruins earned a 21-1-2 record, won a second-straight Pac-12 title, set multiple school records, and accumulated a plethora of awards, including the Honda Award for Mewis and a school-record four NSCAA All-America honors. Cromwell earned NSCAA Pacific Region Coach of the Year honors.

Although the 2015 Bruins went 8-10-1 after losing nine starters, Cromwell quickly put the pieces in place to rebuild, signing a blockbuster recruiting class in February 2016 that included three Top 10 players, led by U.S. National Team starter Pugh, Canadian Olympic bronze medalist Jessie Fleming and U.S. Under-20 National Team standout Marley Canales. Although Pugh and Canales sat out the 2016 season while with the U-20s, Fleming and her freshman teammates, six of whom were in the starting lineup in the postseason, led the Bruins to a 15-5-2 record and to the NCAA Round of 16, where they were eliminated on penalty kicks to the No. 1 overall seed West Virginia. Fleming went on to earn NSCAA All-America honors, and senior Darian Jenkins, who suffered a season-ending leg injury in early October, earned NSCAA All-Region acclaim.

The 2017 season started out with seven-straight victories and a six-week run at the No. 1 national ranking. UCLA set school and national attendance records, drawing a NCAA regular season all-time record 11,925 fans to their home regular season finale against USC. The Bruins treated the record-setting crowd to a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over their crosstown rivals. UCLA finished the season with a 19-3-3 record and earned its second College Cup appearance under Cromwell.

Cromwell led the 2018 Bruins to a 17-3-2 record and a 13-game unbeaten streak to end the season. UCLA advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals but fell in penalty kicks at North Carolina. Cromwell’s Bruins led the nation in points per game (8.36) and assists per game (2.82) and were tied for first in total goals (61).

In addition to coaching, Cromwell was also instrumental in securing a $5-million dollar donation for the transformation of the North Athletic Field into the new home for UCLA Soccer, Wallis Annenberg Stadium.

Cromwell came to UCLA in 2013 after 14 years as head coach at the University of Central Florida. From 1999-2012, she guided the Knights to a 203-83-26 record, 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, four Atlantic Sun Tournament championships, four Conference USA regular-season titles and the 2012 C-USA tournament title. Cromwell’s Knights made a NCAA Elite Eight run in 2011 that included a defeat of North Carolina in the third round. Cromwell’s UCF players earned 96 all-conference honors and 38 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Region selections. They also amassed nearly 300 conference academic awards during her 14 years in Orlando, including 10 NSCAA Women’s Collegiate Scholar All-American awards and one Senior CLASS Award.

Prior to Central Florida, Cromwell was head coach at University of Maryland-Baltimore County from 1996-97 and an assistant coach at the University of Virginia from 1992-94.

With 325 career victories and a .710 winning percentage at the close of the 2018 season, Cromwell currently ranks 15th in win percentage among active coaches and 16th all-time. Additionally, she ranks 18th among active coaches and 21st overall in total wins.

A native of Annandale, Va. and an inaugural member of the Annendale High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Cromwell attended the University of Virginia and was the captain of the 1991 Cavaliers team that advanced to the Final Four. She was a two-time All-America selection, a finalist for the 1991 Hermann Trophy and a four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree.

Following her standout career in Charlottesville, Cromwell earned 55 caps while representing the U.S. Women’s National Team. She was a member of the United States’ 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup team and an alternate for the U.S. Olympic team in 1996. She later played professionally for the Washington Freedom, Atlanta Beat and the San Jose CyberRays of the Women’s United Soccer Association and was inducted into the Virginia-DC Soccer Hall of Fame.

Cromwell has served as a member of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules Committee and U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, and from 2002 to 2006, she was a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She is also a member of the coaching staff that the State Department sends as an envoy to other countries to empower girls and women through soccer.

Cromwell graduated from the University of Virginia in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Michelle Kwan

Figure Skating

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  China
  • 2007  –  Russia
  • 2008  –  Argentina
  • 2009  –  Ukraine
  • 2010  –  South Korea
  • 2011  –  Singapore

Michelle Kwan has had a distinguished career in public service, diplomacy, and sports. She is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, having won 43 championships, including five world championships, nine national titles, and two Olympic medals. She became the first Public Diplomacy Envoy in 2006 and for a decade, traveled extensively on behalf of the U.S. Department of State to engage youth around the world on social and educational issues. Kwan currently serves as the Treasurer and Board Member of Special Olympics International.

After she earned a B.A. from the University of Denver with a focus on international relations and a M.A. from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, she became a Senior Advisor at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In addition, she served as an Advisor to the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State, where she assisted with the U.S.-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue. She was also a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and Council on Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports initiative at the U.S. Department of State.