A Letter from the President

During my time at Sister Cities International, many of you have shared with me how you have advanced the work of sister cities, been touched by it, or both. Your testimonies have run the gamut from humanitarian work, to trade delegations, to virtual exchanges among youth. Your initiatives have elicited private accolades and official recognition, such as the Council Bluffs Sister City Association receiving the Department of State’s Citizen Diplomacy Award!

As I embark on this new mission, I am inspired by all of you—individuals, organizations, cities, and communities of all sizes. On a more personal level, I keep hearing from family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, “What a great organization! I know Sister Cities from… (insert life-changing experience here).”

At our core, Sister Cities International recognizes, celebrates, and magnifies the catalytic power of people-to-people interaction through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation—one individual, one community at a time. I look forward to guiding our collective action in 2018 and beyond, focusing on three key areas:

Ensuring a vibrant, engaged network

People know us, but they may not know the full range of our initiatives. I will be working with you to deepen brand recognition, strengthen existing relationships, and broaden our membership. We exist to provide support to you, our members. We must build our capacity, energize our efforts, and offer you unparalleled service and engagement to sustain our mission.

Providing leadership

I have a firm belief in leadership inspired by collective input. Our Washington D.C. office, together with the Board and other leadership, provides vision, empowerment, and enrichment for the organization. We, however, take our cue from you, our members. Through our joint efforts, we can ensure future generations see our turbulent times through the prism of mutual respect and cooperation. Our upcoming conference in Aurora, Colorado reflects this vision as it combines our Annual Conference with our Youth Leadership Summit. Our network of State Representatives is integral to ensuring that we work cohesively to promote our shared mission.

Sustaining our impact

My goal is to sustain our impact with greater opportunities for investment – of creative ideas and inspired innovations as well as practical programming and financial support. I will be exploring opportunities like cultural, youth, and municipal exchanges, but I am also interested in partnerships centered on entrepreneurship, economic investment, sustainability, and resilience.

Mutual respect, understanding, cooperation: these hallmarks of Sister Cities cannot be delivered in packages to your front door or to your mobile device through digital soundbites. They must be fostered and nurtured by human interactions. An investment in Sister Cities International—whether it is your time, creative energy, financial support, expertise, or perspective—benefits us all. As your President and CEO I look forward to serving you. Now is the time for our leadership, for our engagement, and for our investment.

Together, we will continue to provide life-changing experiences to those in our communities and, through those lives,change history.


President RM De Souza Signature

Roger-Mark De Souza

President and CEO

Roger Mark De Souza Headshot