U.S.-Russia Summit

07/12/2017 - 07/15/2017

This year we are excited to announce Sister Cities International's US-Russia Mayors' Summit taking place July 12th and 13th in conjuction with our Annual Conference. To register, please click here.

Check it out on Facebook!


A letter from Mayor of Virginia Beach, The Honorable William D. Sessoms, Jr.



Summit: July 12 and 13, 2017

Conference: July 14 and 15, 2017


DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Virginia Beach

1900 Pavilion Drive

Virginia Beach, VA 23451



A block of rooms is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at a special disounted rate of $229/night. Please call reservations toll free at 855-275-4790 or the reservations local phone at 757-422-8900 and mention "2017 Sister Cities International Conference" to reserve you room or book online HERE. The hotel cut-off date to receive this special rate is Monday, June 19, 2017 at 11:59pm EDT. 

Please note: Rooms offered at the special room rate are available on a first come, first serve basis. Book your room early!

So you may better budget your hotel stay, current state and local taxes are currently 14%. This will be added per hotel room, per night at the end of your stay. 


$695.00 for Summit with the Conference- which includes full conference registation

($595.00 Early Bird Price until April 15, 2017)

$350.00 for the Summit - which does not include the annual conference


US-Russia Mayors' Summit Agenda (Subject to change)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

 6:00 – 10:00 pm

VIP Welcome Reception, Dinner and After-Party

Meet and greet

The history of U.S./Russian sister cities

Why citizen diplomacy matters

Goals of the Summit


Thursday, July 13, 2017

 7:30 – 8:30 am

Registration & check-in / continental breakfast


8:30 – 9:30 am

Opening Welcome and Summit Overview

Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms and SCI President/CEO Mary Kane will open the Summit as we celebrate

40 years of Russian/American sister cities, and discuss opportunities for the continued

success and growth of U.S.- Russia sister city partnerships.


There are currently 77 U.S./Russia Sister City programs connecting counterparts --

individuals, businesses, organizations and institutions -- and assisting them in creating

collaborative projects in the fields of culture, business, medicine, journalism, religion,

education, sports and municipal services.


The Summit will explore innovative ways to foster interaction on a municipal level and to

share new and unique approaches to people-to-people exchanges, which can create a

multiplier effect to produce an unprecedented level of activity in the areas of higher

education, cultural exchange, journalism, environment and the involvement of civil



Will Sessoms, Mayor of Virginia Beach, Virginia

Mary D. Kane, President and CEO, Sister Cities International

Tim Quigley, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sister Cities International

Bill Boerum, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors, Sister Cities Int'l


9:45 – 10:30 am

Trade and Economic Relations

Learn from corporate executives and government officials how U.S. and Russian cities

can successfully conduct trade and economic exchanges, including investment and trade

advice and relevant regulations.


10:45 – 11:30 am

Involvement of Civil Society Organizations, High Schools, Universities and Colleges

Learn how to leverage volunteer service organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary, Altrusa

and the United Nations Association to add content, resources, participants and established programs into your sister city relationships.


Learn how to engage schools, colleges and universities and their cultural and educational programming to increase exchanges between your U.S. – Russian Sister City and develop sister school relationships.


12:00 – 1:00 pm

Keynote Luncheon

Funding sister city exchanges


1:15 – 2:30 pm

Arts and Culture

Learn about successful U.S./Russian arts and cultural exchanges, and how they have

impacted their communities. By experiencing and exploring the culture of our sister city

partners, citizens may gain insight into the history, values, and aesthetic sensibilities of

their counterparts. These exchanges may take the form of musical performances, art

exhibits, peace parks and gardens, and international cultural festivals.


2:45 – 3:30 pm

Municipal Exchanges

Learn from municipal employees and elected officials how cities can collaborate on the

implementation of innovative policies and management techniques in sanitation, water,

health, transportation, tourism, economic development, education, humanitarian projects

and community development.


3:45 – 4:00 pm

Coffee break


4:15 – 5:00 pm

Meeting for Cities Seeking Cities

A meeting space for those cities who would like to get to know each other and become

potential partners.


6:00 – 7:00 pm

Cocktail Reception

Enjoy cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres. A great networking opportunity!


7:00 – 9:00 pm

Closing Dinner

Technology and the future of Russian/American sister cities


9:00 - 10:00 pm

After party

Click HERE to register.

Take Action

This year marks a pivotal moment during which Sister Cities International is celebrating 60 years of peace through people. Get involved in this momentous year.
More Information


As the world becomes smaller, and connections online become more frequent than face-to-face interactions, multicultural understanding at the community level is more important than ever. Sister Cities International enables citizen diplomats in communities across the world to develop relationships with communities in other countries that are based on cultural understanding and mutual cooperation.Donate