Mayor's Office

Press Release

Mayor Parker Announces “2014 Houston Consular Forum”
Events to feature Seven Countries of the Arctic Region and Opportunities for Collaboration with Houston-area Institutions




June 6, 2014 -- Today, Mayor Annise Parker announced the “2014 Houston Consular Forum,” honoring the members of the Consular Corps of Houston, the third largest in the nation, and featuring the Arctic region countries of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. Mayor Parker serves as the official host of the Forum.


The high-powered events highlight Houston’s international profile and celebrate its dynamic economic success, while providing an opportunity for networking among industry leaders. The Forum is comprised of two events: the Business Conference and the Consular Ball.


“At a time when our world is hyper-connected and the space between countries is rapidly diminishing, the Arctic Ocean remains one of the last great frontiers on the globe,” said Mayor Parker. “The selection of the Arctic Circle nations, the Northern Lights, focuses on a region of the world with unprecedented opportunities.”


The business conference will focus on "The Arctic: Opportunities in the Global North" and is a new event for the Consular Corps which will be held on Friday, October 17, 2014, at the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB). The conference is slated to be a high-level dialogue among international government officials, business executives, and leading subject matter experts on the drivers of development in the Arctic, while encouraging trade, investment, and business cooperation between the featured countries and Houston.  Events at the conference will include panel discussions, a keynote luncheon and business matchmaking meetings.


It is co-organized by OTC’s Arctic Technology Conference and the University of Houston’s UH Energy, in collaboration with the Consulates General of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.  The Business Conference is supported by the Greater Houston Partnership and Houston First Corporation.


The theme of the 2014 Houston Consular Ball is “Northern Lights, Southern Hospitality” and will feature the culture and cuisine of the Arctic countries, while honoring Houston’s 92-member country Consular Corps and celebrating Houston’s role in the world economy.  The Consular Ball will be held on Saturday, October 18, 2014, at the GRB.  The event is white-tie.


“Houston First Corporation designed and created an elegant space and multimedia production within the George R. Brown last year that showcased Houston as a world-class city, and the amazing versatility of the GRB,” stated Mayor Parker.  “The plans are well underway to create a not-to-be-missed, magnificent experience to showcase the Northern Lights countries.”


The events of the “2014 Houston Consular Forum” are designed to foster international relationships that will lead to a better understanding of our diverse communities, and provide opportunities for international trade and collaboration.


The Washington, D.C.-based ambassadors and the Houston-based consular officials of the seven featured countries serve on the Northern Lights Honorary Committee.


Proceeds from the Consular Forum benefit Houston International Initiatives, a non-profit organization formed to further Houston’s international outreach efforts as well as supporting international education programs at local universities.


Today, at a press conference in city hall, Mayor Parker made check presentations to Rice University, University of Houston, the University of St. Thomas and the Junior Chamber of Commerce Foundation to benefit local, international education programs.


Please visit for more information about the 2014 Consular Forum and sponsorship opportunities.