U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach will serve as the U.S. Agency for International Development’s first-ever Development Champion, the agency announced July 31.
In this role, Wambach will raise awareness of the work USAID is doing around the world to improve the lives of young women and girls through sport.
Wambach, who is currently in London competing with the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team, recorded a message before her departure that was released July 31, saying, “I look forward to visiting [USAID] programs where I will undoubtedly meet the next generation of the world’s female leaders and role models.”
Sport has long been used as a tool in global development and humanitarian aid to create community resilience, connect youth in conflict regions, promote healthy behaviors and improve access to education, USAID said. These efforts are working to empower youth, particularly young women and girls, increasing their self-confidence and improving personal growth.
USAID’s Development Champion program, which will be led by the agency’s first-ever senior adviser for sport for development, Mori Taheripour, will engage notable athletes to help raise awareness of these efforts.
Wambach added, “Whether it’s on the soccer field, in a community center or in the classroom, USAID is using sport to transform the lives of girls globally, and in my book, that deserves a gold medal.”
For more information on USAID’s sport and development efforts and to see Abby Wambach’s video.