Sister Cities International Celebrates Momentous 60th Anniversary since Organization was Founded by President Eisenhower

WASHINGTON, DC (March 15, 2016) – Today, Sister Cities International (SCI) is marking a major milestone as they kick off their 60th anniversary year in 2016. Launched as a major Presidential Initiative by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, SCI was founded on the idea that by forming community-led relationships, people of different cultures could appreciate their differences and build partnerships that would lessen the chance of new national conflicts. Over the past 60 years, SCI has grown dramatically, with 560 U.S. communities forming over 2,300 partnerships in 150 countries on six continents.

SCI’s 60th anniversary celebration will include an Annual Conference, Diplomatic Gala, and Youth Leadership Summit in Washington, DC July 13-16, 2016. The celebration will bring together hundreds of the most influential global leaders in diplomacy, foreign affairs, policy, business, and innovation. Elected and municipal officials, business leaders, youth delegates, and citizen diplomats will discuss this year’s theme “Peace through People,” building on President Eisenhower’s initial vision of creating a more peaceful world by building global relationships. 

The celebration will comprise of a Parade of Flags in downtown Washington, DC; a Welcome Reception at the Japanese Ambassador’s Residence; City Welcome Reception hosted by Washington, DC; a Diplomatic Gala at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and enlightening conference sessions, keynote speeches, and an Annual Awards Dinner at the historic Mayflower Hotel. The winners of SCI’s Young Artists and Authors Showcase featuring art, literature, photography, and film created by youth from around the world will also be on display throughout the Conference. The celebration will not only honor the 60 years of history behind SCI, but also its promising future of sustaining and fostering world peace. 

Concurrent to the Conference, a Youth Leadership Summit for high school students (ages 14-18) will convene to engage the next generation of leaders and expose them to global challenges through a diplomatic simulation moderated by the U.S. Diplomacy Center, various panels, a service learning project, and tours of Washington, DC. 

Sister Cities International President and CEO Mary D. Kane said, “We are thrilled to host our 60th Annual Conference where the sister cities movement originated, Washington, DC. This year’s celebration will be our greatest one yet, with more activities than ever before demonstrating the invaluable role that sister cities play in creating world peace through people-to-people partnerships as well as the important role that young people play in sustaining this movement.”

To get involved, please visit For more information about the Conference, visit and to view the agenda, visit 

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About Sister Cities International 

Founded as a Presidential Initiative by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for 560 individual sister cities, counties, and states across the United States with relationships in 2,300 communities in 150 countries on six continents. The sister city network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers who work tirelessly to promote the organizations’ mission of creating world peace and understanding through economic development, youth and education, arts and culture, and humanitarian assistance. 

Facebook: SisterCitiesInternational; Twitter: @SisterCitieslnt; Instagram: @SisterCitiesInt; Website:   

Click here to download a PDF of the press release.