Mayor's Office of Trade & International Affairs

“Houston is a welcoming city, embracing all cultures, ethnicities and nationalities. We are a world-class international city, striving towards an ever more global future.” — Sylvester Turner, Mayor of the City of Houston

Houston began as a town on the bayou – a local trading hub where the railroads met. Since then, the City has become a world capital of industry, growing increasingly international with over 25% of its residents born abroad and more than 100 languages spoken within its borders. As Houston’s global presence grows, the Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs serves as the City’s international liaison, forming an important link between Houstonians and the world. Whether welcoming heads of state, establishing numerous diplomatic ties, attracting foreign investment or assisting Houston businesses seeking markets abroad, our office works to realize Mayor Turner’s vision of an ever more global Houston.

Diplomacy and Consular Affairs

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Each year, the Mayor’s Office hosts meetings with over 100 delegations and leaders from countries all over the world, discussing topics ranging from cultural exchange to future trade opportunities. The Diplomacy and Consular Affairs division is both an organizer and a liaison to the Mayor during these important meetings, helping promote Houston and attract future bilateral relationships, while maintaining the high standard of international protocol expected from one of the most global cities in the US. In addition to serving in this capacity, this division is the first point of contact for the 91 members of Houston’s Consular Corps, working to advise consular officials on their interactions within the City and coordinate consulate activities and services.

Please Contact Our Office if:

  • You need information on a consulate
  • You are planning the visit of an international government dignitary
  • You have questions regarding international protocol, customs or cross-cultural communication
  • You need a speaker on consular or international relations, protocol, cross-cultural training, or sister cities

Official Courtesies

  • Welcome amenities
  • Informational welcome packet
  • Welcome letter from the Mayor
  • Special tours of area attractions
  • Complimentary ground transportation (based on availability and rank)

For more information on protocol and diplomacy, please contact our office’s Chief of Protocol, Deanea Leflore.

For more information on consular affairs, please contact our office’s International Partners and Agreements Manager, Nike Lugman.

International Business Development

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As global center of energy, healthcare, aeronautics, and innovation, Houston is a hub of international commerce. It is home to the largest US port in foreign tonnage, two international airports, the largest medical center in the world, and the Ellington Space Port. Over 5,000 Houston companies report doing business abroad, while approximately 1,000 Houston firms report foreign ownership. The international business division focuses identifying synergies between local and international partners, creating and implementing international business development strategies, and coordinating trade missions abroad.

Please Contact Our Office if:

  • For more information on international business development, contact our office’s Global Business Manager, Paul Cuclis at
  • For more information on the offices international engagement strategies, contact our office’s Global Engagement Manager, Mazda Denon at

Partners and Agreements

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The Partners and Agreements division focuses on originating and maintaining bilateral agreements and global partnerships in an effort to secure beneficial relationships between Houston and international parties. On behalf of the Mayor, this division is in charge of Houston’s role in the Sisters City program, which actively reaches out to cities that share political, business and cultural interests with Houston.

Please Contact Our Office if:

  • You need information regarding Houston's role as a Sister City
  • You are looking for information regarding bilateral agreements with the city of Houston

Bilateral Agreements
This division helps coordinates the city's bilateral agreements, which allows Houston to develop special relationships with international cities in a single designated field of exchange (such as medicine, trade, education, or culture) over a two-year period. Each agreement is sponsored by the office of the Mayor or a City Council Member and coordinated by citizen volunteers.

For more information on MOUs and ongoing international agreements, please contact our office’s International Partners and Agreements Manager, Nike Luqman at

For more information on Sister Cities, please contact our office’s Liaison to the Sister Cities, Jessica Ngo at

Events and Community Outreach

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The Events and Community Outreach division helps connect local Houstonians with the international community by promoting international events, reporting on international occurrences, and providing updates on recent diplomatic activity in Houston. Throughout the year we plan and execute major events such as the Mayor’s Annual Consular Ball and the World Energy Cities Partnership’s Networking Reception and Corporate Luncheon.

Please click the links or contact our office if:

For more information on Events & Community Outreach, please contact our office’s Global Engagement Manager, Mazda Denon at