Sports Diplomacy Event

Sports Diplomacy with U.S. Sports Envoy Cal Ripken, Jr.
Diplomacy Center
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 — Dept. of State

National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Cal Ripken with AAFSW President Dr. Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen.

With the collaboration of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, many Department of State employees and sports enthusiasts gathered together on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 in the Founding Ambassadors’ Concourse at the United States Diplomacy Center to celebrate sports diplomacy during a panel conversation with U.S. Sports Envoy Cal Ripken, Jr. and Foreign Service Officer Joel Ehrendriech.

In addition to his illustrious 21 year career with the Baltimore Orioles, where he was a 19 time All Star, twice named American League Most Valuable Player, and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with the highest percentage of votes of any player at the time, Mr. Ripken has served as a U.S. Sports Envoy for the United States since 2007. In that role, he has traveled the globe to use baseball as a tool to spread goodwill. His first assignment took him to China, after which he went to Nicaragua, Japan, and most recently, the Czech Republic. Mr. Ripken has donated sports artifacts to the Diplomacy Center to help tell the story of American sports diplomacy.

Joel Ehrendreich has had an illustrious career as a Foreign Service Officer and is currently serving as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Mr. Ehrendreich is a great fan of baseball; his children are named Cooper, after Cooperstown — home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Calvin, who was given that name when he was born on the day that Cal Ripken broke Sachio Kinugasa’s world record for consecutive games played. The children’s middle names are Jack and Robinson, after Mr. Ehrendrech’s baseball hero.

Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, PhD
AAFSW President