City Leaders and Citizen Diplomats Explore Entrepreneurship, Cultural Understanding, and Smart Cities at “Cities Leading the Way” August 2-4

  • Ron Nirenberg and Tim Quigley at the 2016 Annual Conference Flag Parade

Aurora, Colorado will be the nexus of worldwide connections as Sister Cities International hosts their 2018 Annual Conference and 2018 Youth Leadership Summit. The conference will bring together more than 300 elected and municipal officials, business leaders, and engaged citizen diplomats and over 100 high school students from across the U.S. and the globe to learn about citizen diplomacy. The theme of the conference is “Cities Leading the Way.”

“This landmark gathering will demonstrate how citizen diplomacy forges mutual interests and ties of respect across cultures that enrich and strengthen the United States’ global understanding and position in the world,” said Roger-Mark De Souza, President & CEO of Sister Cities International.


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Attendees and speakers will include mayors, city officials, diplomats, business and political leaders including:

  • Ambassador Kadyr Toktogulov; Kyrgyzstan
  • US Representative Michael Coffman, CO
  • Honorable Julian Castro, Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne, State of Colorado
  • Mayor Bob LeGare; Aurora, Colorado
  • Mayor Ron Nirenberg; San Antonio, Texas
  • Former Ambassador John O’Keefe; United States
  • Mayor Pro Tempore Sheri Capehart; Arlington, Texas
  • Mayor Lauren Poe; Gainesville, Florida
  • Mayor John Suthers; Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Mayor Marjorie Sloan; Golden, Colorado
  • Mayor Zoila Milagro Navas Quintanilla; Antiguo Cuscatlan, El Salvador
  • Mayor Vincent Ndumu; Bamende, Cameroon
  • Mayor Cletus Fongu; Bamende, Cameroon
  • Ray Washburne, President, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
  • Stephen T. ‘Tim” Quigley, Chairman, Sister Cities International Board of Directors
  • James F. Wagenlander; Honorary Consul General, Mongolia
  • Derran Moss, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, United Nations
  • John Thon Majok, Senior Program Analyst, Global Sustainability and Resilience Program, The Wilson Center

International delegations will also be in attendance from Cameroon, El Salvador, Germany, Haiti, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Ghana, Tanzania, The Bahamas, China, Jamaica, and South Korea.

Attendees will also receive messages from Second Lady Karen Pence, who is the Honorary Vice Chair of Sister Cities International, as well as Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Conference sponsors include Toyota Motor North America, the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, the Mary Ellen and Michael E Fox Family Foundation, H.I.S. International Tours, Inc., American University, ADEC Innovations Health Solutions, Hogan Lovells and Hans and Erika Vielberth.


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