Pam Foley

2024 Sister Cities International Board Candidate

Why I Am Running for the Board of Directors

Now, more than ever, Sister Cities is needed to bring cultures together to create more opportunities for understanding and awareness. While we live in a global society, we must take the time and energy to promote world peace and goodwill. We are connected easily by technology, but technology can get in the way of meeting our true goals of creating compassion, empathy, and goodwill globally. Through my world travels and involvement with International Study Abroad programs, I am keenly aware of the importance of working to understand other cultures and to create opportunities to learn and exchange ideas.

Understanding different cultures, building awareness, and connecting help narrow our differences and allow us to focus on bringing the world together to solve world problems.

I have a desire to break down barriers and create a mutual understanding regardless of the culture. I was fortunate to be selected last year to fill the remainder of a one-year term and would be honored to serve as a director on this board for three additional years and further my efforts as a goodwill ambassador. 


I graciously received an appointment for a one-year term as a Director with the Sister Cities International (SCI) program. As a new member, I am learning where I can be most effective.

I am currently serving a second term as a City Councilmember for the City of San José I am passionate about promoting peace and goodwill through international efforts and have spent many years, committing time and energy to various international exchange programs.

Each of these international opportunities enabled me to share my country’s thoughts and traditions and learn of another country’s traditions and philosophies, creating the understanding and mutual respect necessary to bring peace in today’s turbulent world.

Whether through my experience living with a family abroad through the American Field Service program, living in Tokyo, or Chairing the Rotary Youth Exchange program, each opportunity has brought me the awareness, experience, and mindset necessary to learn from other cultures.

Over the years, I have hosted students from Japan, France, Germany, and Taiwan. Before the pandemic, I hosted a student from Okayama in connection with the San José-Okayama Sister City program.

During my year with SCI, I have worked closely with my city’s various Sister City programs, including Okayama, Japan. This summer I will be furthering this Sister City relationship as a chaperone to a group of students on an exchange to Okayama.

Additionally, I am collaborating with the local Rotary Club to create a deeper relationship between the Sister Cities programs in San José beginning with Okayama.

Skills and Assets

Having served for one year with SCI, raising funds should be a primary focus. As an elected official, fundraising is a necessary skill and important when conveying your message.
Additional strengths include creating strategic partnerships within education, business, local government, and Rotary Clubs. I have learned to encourage collaboration and to treat others with respect, dignity, and empathy. I carry these skills through my daily responsibilities, working to build mutual respect and understanding through collaboration.