Dr. Ashleigh Huffman
Vice President, Global Engagement
Dr. Ashleigh Huffman will spearhead international initiatives for The Institute as the Vice President for Global Engagement. Prior to joining our team, Ashleigh was the Chief of Sports Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State based in Washington, DC. She partnered with governments, sports leagues, organizing committees, nonprofits, educational institutions, and businesses to tackle global issues and advance foreign policy priorities such as gender equity, diversity and inclusion, disability rights, climate change, mental health, and racial justice. She was also a leading advisor on international sport policy and international exchange opportunities, including world championships, the Olympics and Paralympics, and the World Cup.
Before joining the State Department, Ashleigh was a professor at the University of Tennessee and co-founder of the Center for Sport, Peace, and Society. In that role, Ashleigh worked closely with the State Department and espnW to launch the Global Sports Mentoring Program, which was awarded in 2018 with the ESPN Stuart Scott Humanitarian Award and the Peace and Sport “Diplomatic Action of the Year” Award.
Ashleigh has worked with professional, university, and amateur athletes and coaches from 150 countries, including the United States, on leadership development, DEIB, and systemic change. She frequently leads workshops and keynotes on women’s empowerment, sports diplomacy, mentorship models, and public-private partnerships. Ashleigh earned her PhD at the University of Tennessee in Sociocultural Studies and was the co-captain of her basketball team at Eastern Kentucky University.