Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Radovan Pletka

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2024  –  Portugal

Former Collegiate Player for George Mason University
Former Professional Player in Greece for Halkinoda FC
Current Director of Player Development and Pathways for Great Falls Reston Soccer Club/NVA

Amelia Brodka

Skateboarding

Served as envoy

  • 2024  –  France

Brodka is the first Polish Olympic Skateboarder, two-time European Park Skateboarding Champion & an analyst for X Games & Paris 2024. Brodka created award-winning documentary Underexposed: A Women’s Skateboarding Documentary, which addressed gender disparities within the sport. In 2012, Brodka cofounded Exposure Skate, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women, trans & nonbinary individuals through skateboarding & teaching compassion through service. Brodka serves as Executive Director of the nonprofit which runs year-round programs, camps, events, and scholarships for girls & nonbinary skaters.

Brennan Scarlett

American Football

Served as envoy

  • 2024  –  Brazil

Brennan Scarlett is an 8-year NFL Linebacker who has played with the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins. A graduate of both University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, Brennan is a life-long learner with a breadth of business interests. When he’s not on the football field, Scarlett spends his time working in the community through his nonprofit, the Big Yard Foundation, and acting as Founder and CEO of his creative agency, Scarlett Creative. He is an opportunistic investor, advisor, and creator. He enjoys a cup of coffee in the morning and a neat glass of añejo tequila at night. He’s currently learning the play the piano and looking forward to playing Jingle Bells at the next Christmas party.

Ashlea Klam

Flag Football

Served as envoy

  • 2024  –  Brazil

My name is Ashlea Klam. I am 19 years old and a freshman athlete at Keiser University and on the Women’s Flag Football U.S. National Team. Ever since I was a toddler, sports have always been a huge part of my life. I have competed competitively in flag football, basketball, volleyball, softball and track & field over the years. I started playing flag when I was 7 years old. Flag football was my love from the beginning and is now the sport that I am fortunate enough to get to play in college on a scholarship. My nickname on the field is “Hollywood” because I was a child actor when I was younger. I played for my youth club travel team, Texas Fury from 2018-2023. In 2022, I was named Co-Captain of the 17u U.S. National team where we were crowned the Jr. International Bowl Champions. This past year, I was the youngest member of the Women’s U.S. National Team, where we won the IFAF America’s Continental Cup in July 2023. It was an amazing honor to play and represent my country at that level. I am currently the youngest member serving on the USA Football Board of Directors. I am so excited and honored to have this amazing opportunity to travel to Brazil as a Sports Envoy for the United States to share my love for flag football to the world.

Neftalie Williams

Skateboarding

Served as envoy

  • 2016  –  Netherlands
  • 2017  –  Cambodia
  • 2021  –  Virtual
  • 2023  –  Barbados
  • 2023  –  Grenada
  • 2024  –  France

Dr. Neftalie Williams is the Director of San Diego State University’s Center for Skateboarding, Action Sports, and Social Change. His work delves into global issues surrounding race, gender, diversity, and youth empowerment, using critical theory to examine power dynamics, identity politics, and social transformation through the lens of action sports. Dr. Williams focuses on the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), as well as their non-BIPOC counterparts, to provide historical examples of challenges and solidarity that can guide us toward a more inclusive future.

With a background in both academia and a deep personal connection to skateboarding, writing, and photography, Dr. Williams has made significant contributions to the study of skateboarding culture. He has published scholarly works, written op-eds for mainstream publications, and provided commentary for various traditional news outlets and documentaries, including The New York Times, CNN, ABC, Forbes, and the documentary ‘Reaching the Sky’ featuring Olympian Sky Brown. His research on race and skateboarding, conducted as part of the 2019-2020 USC x Tony Hawk Foundation project, was prominently featured in The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.

Dr. Williams’ extensive experience also includes positions at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, as well as serving as a Yale Schwarzman Center Visiting Fellow in Race, Culture & Community. His scholarly expertise is complemented by his personal history as a skateboarder, writer, and photographer, which has led to features in publications like Transworld Skateboarding Magazine and Thrasher Magazine.

One of Dr. Williams’ pioneering concepts is using skateboarding as a tool for cultural diplomacy, both in theory and practice. He has spearheaded skate diplomacy initiatives for the U.S. Department of State’s embassies, engaging with youth globally and connecting them with their host country’s academic, sports, and cultural institutions. His work has taken him to countries such as Cambodia, The Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Barbados, and Grenada, aligning with his scholarly research in Brazil, The Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, and Cuba.

In an effort to expand public discourse on skateboarding culture, Dr. Williams founded “The Nation Skate,” a series of public panels, lectures, skateboarding demonstrations, and photography and skateboarding media. This initiative explores the intersection of race, gender, diversity, and diplomacy through the mediums of skateboarding, academia, and popular culture. His photography and scholarly endeavors have been showcased at prominent institutions like the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Ford Theater in Los Angeles.

Currently, Dr. Williams provides consultation on skateboarding and action sports for Disney Studios and Burton Snowboards. He is also a co-founder of the College Skateboarding Educational Foundation (CSEF), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships for young skateboarders pursuing higher education. Furthermore, he serves on the boards of the Tony Hawk Foundation/The Skatepark Project, Skateistan, McKinnon Center for Global Affairs, and chairs the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for USA Skateboarding.

Kacey White

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Costa Rica
  • 2024  –  Cambodia

White was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team during her playing career. She earned 18 caps with the U.S. WNT from 2006-2010 and was an alternate for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. She had a six year professional career that took her to play professionally in Sweden with Balinge and AIK, where she was named Uppland Forward of the Year. White was also a 1st round draft pick of the WPS and played for Sky Blue FC, Magic Jack and Atlanta Beat during her time in the league where she won a WPS Championship in 2009. White was an two-time All-American who won three (3) ACC Titles and one (1) NCAA National Championship in her career at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

White currently works as a TV broadcaster and color analyst for the National Women’s Soccer League, USL Championship and ESPN. She also currently owns her own business K21 Sports Consulting where she not only mentors elite youth, collegiate and professional athletes throughout their careers but also aides former collegiate and professional athletes as they navigate their transition from elite athletics into the professional work force.

White was formerly the Head Coach of the USA U16 Girls National Team, as well as, working extensively as an assistant for the USA’s U14, U15 and U17 World Cup National Teams from 2014-2018. She has also served as an assistant coach and video analyst with the US Virgin Islands Men’s Senior National Team. White had collegiate head coaching stints as Head Coach of Xavier University and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, while also serving as an Assistant at the University of Oklahoma and Texas Tech. White currently holds her USSF A-Senior coaching license and her UEFA B License from the Welsh Association.

Brandi Chastain

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Brazil
  • 2023  –  Australia
  • 2024  –  Portugal

U.S. National Team: A reserve forward during the first incarnation of her national team career, she earned 173 of her 192 caps primarily at defender from 1996-2004 … A consistent starter from 1996-2004, she became one of the best-known female athletes in the United States, and the world, after her 1999 Women’s World Cup heroics … Ended her career sixth on the all-time U.S. caps lists, but sits ninth in 2013 … 2004: Played in 20 matches, starting 13 … Didn’t play in the first three matches of the Olympics, but started and played the last three critical knockout games to help the USA win the gold medal … Had the assist on the first goal to Lindsay Tarpley in the Olympic gold medal match and helped set up Kristine Lilly’s goal against Germany in the semifinal … 2003: One of the most active players for the USA in 2003 before the Women’s World Cup, she broke a bone in her right foot in the first half of the first game of the tournament and missed the rest of the Women’s World Cup … Played in 14 matches overall in 2003, starting 13, spanning 1080 minutes, but just 45 minutes in the WWC … She had one goal and one assist, scoring on a penalty kick against Mexico at her hometown Spartan Stadium in the last match before the Women’s World Cup … Moved past Carla Overbeck and into sixth place on the U.S. all-time caps list … Her goal in 2003 was the 30th of her international career … 2002: Played in 15 matches for the USA, starting 14 and scored four goals … Three of her goals came from the penalty spot, one each in the three Nike U.S. Women’s Cup games … Was a member of the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup Team that qualified the USA for the 2003 Women’s World Cup … 2001: Played in three matches for the USA during a limited schedule for the national team … 2000: Played in 34 matches and started 32, tied for first on the team … Scored four goals with three assists, including a penalty kick to defeat Norway, 1-0, in the Algarve Cup Final … Also scored a brilliant goal off a free-kick against Japan in the Pacific Cup and a fantastic volley against Nigeria in the Olympics … Helped the USA to six tournament titles before the Olympics … 1999: Provided one of the greatest moments in the history of women’s sports with her 1999 Women’s World Cup-clinching penalty kick on the USA’s fifth shot in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on July 10, 1999 at the Rose Bowl … Graced the cover of Time, Newsweek, People, and Sports Illustrated after she peeled her jersey off in celebration following her winning kick … Had one of the most eventful games in Women’s World Cup history, scoring an own goal against Germany in just the fifth minute of the USA’s Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match, then gloriously redeeming herself with a second half goal that tied the game at 2 2 … Named to the 1999 Women’s World Cup All Star Team … Played in 27 games for the USA in 1999, scoring five goals with five assists … Played in her 100th career game for the USA against Brazil in the semifinal of the Women’s World Cup at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, not far from her hometown of San Jose, Calif. … 1998: Was third on the team in minutes played with 1,894 … Scored five goals, four on penalty kicks, and had five assists … Saw considerable action in midfield after playing defense since rejoining the national team in 1996 … Helped the USA to the first ever Goodwill Games gold medal in the Summer of ’98 … 1996: Member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Women’s National Team at the 1996 Olympic Games … Started and played every minute of the USA’s five matches at the ’96 Olympics, despite suffering a serious knee injury in the semifinal against Norway … Called into training camp with the national team in September 1995 after spending more than two years away from the program … A forward for her entire youth, college and national team career, she converted to defender and started in the back for the USA on January 14, 1996, against Russia in Brazil, after having not appeared for the WNT since August 8, 1993 … Made a seamless transition from striker to defender during the first part of 1996 and earned a starting spot on the Olympic Team … Pre-1993: Was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team that won the first FIFA Women’s World Cup in China in 1991, seeing action in two games, starting one … Holds the distinction of coming on as a substitute and scoring a record five consecutive goals in the USA’s 12 0 victory over Mexico in CONCACAF qualifying for the 1991 World Cup, her first international goals … Finished the CONCACAF tournament with seven goals … First Appearance: June 1, 1988, vs. Japan … First Goal: April 18, 1991, vs. Mexico (scored five goals).

Professional / Club: One of the WUSA’s founding players, she was allocated to her hometown San Jose CyberRays for the 2001 inaugural season … 2003: Played in 15 games, starting them all, but missed several games at the end of the season with a leg injury … Scored one goal with four assists and was named to the All-WUSA Second Team … Voted as a starter to the WUSA All-Star Team, and scored a goal in the game … 2002: Played in 18 matches for San Jose, playing forward at times, and scored four goals with three assists … Named to the All-WUSA Second Team … Voted as a starter on the WUSA North All-Star Team, receiving the most votes of any player … 2001: Led her club to the first-ever WUSA championship … A member of the All-WUSA First Team … Played in 19 regular season games for the CyberRays, scoring two goals with five assists … Etc.: Played professionally in Japan for Skiroki Serena in 1993, earning team MVP honors and was the only foreigner to be selected as one of the league’s top 11 players in 1993 … Played women’s club soccer for the Sacramento Storm, the 1997 Western Regional Champions.

College / High School: Finished her college career at Santa Clara University in 1990, leading the Broncos to two Final Four appearances … Was named a First Team NSCAA All American in 1990 and All Far West selection in 1989 … Attended the University of California Berkeley in 1986, earning Soccer America Freshman of the Year honors while partnering with U.S. teammate Joy Fawcett … Sat out the 1987 and 1988 college seasons after having anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery on both of her knees before transferring to Santa Clara for her final two seasons … Scored 32 goals and added eight assists in three college seasons … Attended Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, where she led the team to three straight state championships.

Personal: Full name is Brandi Denise Chastain … Always up for a pick-up game … Was a full-time assistant coach at Santa Clara for two seasons and then a volunteer assistant … Is married to Santa Clara head women’s soccer coach Jerry Smith … Earned a degree in Television and Communications at Santa Clara … Should be noted that in her years as a college player, Chastain never lost to Julie Foudy of Stanford … Named as one of People Magazine’s 25 Most Intriguing People of 1999 … Also #97 on Street & Smith’s 100 Most Powerful People in Sports for 1999 … Appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” before and after the ’99 Women’s World Cup and several times since … Threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium following the Women’s World Cup victory, and did so at Wrigley Field in 2001 … Appeared with FIFA President Sepp Blatter, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Pele at a New York City press conference in November of 2001 as FIFA announced the dedication of the 2002 World Cup … Enjoys reading, running with her dogs and playing scrabble on her computer (in which she is still undefeated and looking for a challenger) … Aspires to create a rap duo with LaKeysia Beene and tour the world … Also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, having BBQs and baking parties … Appeared on “Jeopardy!” in January of 2001, donating half her winnings to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund … Realized her childhood dream of playing professional soccer in Spartan Stadium (home of the CyberRays), where she was a NASL season ticket holder and grew to love soccer … Created a cheering section at CyberRays home games in honor of her late mother, Lark, because she was the greatest cheerleader in the world … … Participated in the preliminary draw for the 2006 World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany at the end of 2003 … Serving as the sideline reporter for ESPN’s MLS broadcasts during the 2005 season … A correspondent for Fox’s “NFL Under the Helmet” where she goes on the road to do features on NFL players … New hobby is sewing and knitting sewing and knitting which may yield a new line of goodies for women and men who aren’t afraid to be bold … Is now up to speed with the 21st century and got wireless Internet, but is still a big believer in hand-written letters.

Joanna Lohman

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Argentina
  • 2015  –  Thailand
  • 2016  –  Botswana
  • 2017  –  Ivory Coast
  • 2018  –  Niger
  • 2019  –  Nigeria
  • 2021  –  Virtual
  • 2022  –  Virtual
  • 2024  –  Cambodia

Joanna Lohman is a keynote speaker and performance coach. She is a former professional soccer player and member of the United States Women’s National Team. She is the first player in Washington Spirit history to have her jersey retired, honoring her 16-year playing career where she built a platform for social impact. She is the author of, Raising Tomorrow’s Champions, and an authenticity activator. She continues her influence as a Sport Diplomat and global leader who has shared her message with organizations all over the world, including: The Minnesota Vikings, The Human Rights Campaign, Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Qualcomm, Lifetime Television, Sanofi, American Staffing Association, McDonalds, CNN and universities all over the country.