The Houston Office of Protocol and International Affairs (HOPIA) is a division of the City of Houston Mayor's Office and serves as the office of protocol for the City of Houston. HOPIA serves the Mayor and the City Council as an advisor on international affairs and protocol and assists the Mayor and other city officials in their interactions with international dignitaries. HOPIA is the city's official liaison to Houston's Consular Corps and advises the corporate community and the general public on matters of protocol, cross-cultural relations, international affairs, etiquette and event planning.
As the City of Houston's office of protocol, HOPIA functions as:
- The city's official host to visiting international government dignitaries.
- The city's official liaison to Houston's Consular Corps.
- An advisor to the Mayor, city officials, and citizens on international issues and protocol and provides flags for international events.
- The city's liaison to Houston's sister cities.
- The coordinator of Houston's Partners Agreements with international cities.
Learn at Lunch Series
Learn at Lunch is an opportunity to spend an enriching lunch hour getting to know about the multicultural aspects of our city and develop connections with Houston’s consular corps and staff.
Some examples of past programs have included a Japanese tea ceremony, Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, a Journey through Senegal and Denmark Today.
The series is hosted by the Houston Office of Protocol & International Affairs and the Visitors Center.
March 1, 2013 -- Ambassador of Hungary -- On March 1, 2013, Mayor Parker met with His Excellency, Dr. György Szapáry, Ambassador of Hungary. Mayor Parker and the ambassador discuss ways to strengthen the relationship between Houston and Hungary. The meeting was also attended by, the Honorary Consul General of Hungary, Mr. Phillip Aronoff.
January 29, 2013 -- Dalian-Lamar Exchange Students -- Twelve exchange students from Dalian, China, studying short-term at Lamar High School met with Mayor Pro Tem Edward Gonzalez and Council Member Jerry Davis, a Lamar High School alumnus. The council members emphasized the importance of education, cross-cultural experience, and intercultural understanding in addition to answering the students’ questions. The students visited as part of an annual program hosted by Lamar High School.
January 28, 2013 -- IVLP Delegation -- Participants in the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program visited with Council Member Wanda Adams at City Hall. Countries represented included South Africa, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Greece, and El Salvador. The council member discussed a variety of topics including municipal government, the involvement of youth in government, and shared her passion for public service. While in Houston they also met with members of the Mayor’s Youth Council.
Houston Office of Protocol & International Affairs
Cheryl Mitchell, Protocol Manager and Sister Cities Coordinator
City Hall, First Floor
Houston, Texas 77002
The Houston Office of Protocol and International Affairs is the city's liaison to Houston's sister city associations and to the national governing organization, Sister Cities International and the local Sister Cities of Houston.
Through their official city-to-city relationships, these volunteer associations promote people-to-people diplomacy and encourage citizens to develop mutual trust and understanding through commercial, cultural, educational, and humanitarian exchanges.
With 92 consulates in the area, the Houston Office of Protocol and International Affairs works to advise and assist consular officials in their interactions with the Houston community. Our involvement encompasses a wide range of activities, from supplying newcomers with information about Houston to working with the State Department on credentials and security issues, all with the goal of making the Houston tenure of these officials as productive and pleasant as possible.