Meet the Team

Connect with Christopher Olson on Linked InChristopher OlsonChristopher Olson
Director of Trade & International Affairs
Christopher was appointed by Mayor Sylvester Turner in 2018 to serve as the Director for Trade and International Affairs for the City of Houston. In this role, Christopher leads the City’s international business development efforts as well as engagement with foreign governments and international organizations.

Prior to his appointment, Christopher held positions as a diplomat, business consultant, and military officer. With the U.S. Department of State, Christopher had diplomatic postings in the Balkans, South and Central Asia, worked as a program manager in Washington, D.C. supervising programs in Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, and advised U.S. and international business executives on a range of economic, trade, and political issues.

As a business consultant in the private sector, Christopher advised companies on corporate market strategy, organizational structure, and business processes. During his military service Christopher was a U.S. Navy Officer leading large, diverse, cross functional teams. Christopher has supported special warfare operations, worked as a staff officer for the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon, and led anti-terrorism and continuity of operations programs.

Christopher is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in history and political science and holds a master’s degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Prior to joining the City of Houston, Christopher obtained an MBA from Rice University Business School with a focus on strategy and innovation where he was recognized as a Jones Scholar for academic and leadership excellence.

Christopher helps lead the World Energy City Partnership network of global cities leading the energy transition, is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma business honors society, was recognized as a Global Leader of Influence by the World Affairs Council, and is active in entrepreneurship and veterans' affairs.

Connect with Mazda Denon on Linked InMazda DenonMazda Denon
Deputy Director of Trade & International Affairs
Mazda serves as a Global Trade Manager for the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs. In his role, he manages global trade development efforts as well as engagement with foreign governments and international organizations with a focus on Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Middle East. His duties extend to overseeing all diplomatic, business, and cultural exchanges between the City of Houston and these regions, managing office finances, planning and executing Mayoral Trade Missions, and organizing the Mayor’s international business advisory council.

Mazda is fluent in French and English. He holds two bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Finances from the Higher Institute of Management (ISM – Dakar) and The American Intercontinental University.

Connect with Niké Luqman on Linked InNiké LuqmanNiké Luqman
Senior Consular & International Affairs Manager
Niké B. Luqman is the Senior Consular and International Affairs Manager in the Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs for the City of Houston. She is the lead liaison to the third-largest consular corps in the United States and coordinates all of the Mayor’s international dignitary visits. Niké advises on matters of protocol, ceremonial activities and maintains relationships with private and governmental entities.

She is a Spaniard with more than 20 years of public affairs and cross-cultural experience in international and national alliances. Prior to working for the City of Houston she founded Beltran Luqman & Associates, a consultancy firm. Prior to that Niké was the Executive Director of the American Business Council of Dubai & the Northern Emirates (Am/Cham Dubai).

Niké is a graduate of Baylor University, speaks English and Spanish and has traveled and lived in many parts of the world.

Connect with Jessica Ngo on Linked InJessica NgoJessica Ngo
Chief of Protocol
As Chief of Protocol for the City of Houston, Jessica oversees matters regarding diplomatic protocol and cross-cultural exchanges including welcome Heads of State, Ministers, Ambassadors and all foreign dignitaries that visit Houston. She also serves as key advisor on international policy issues which may impact Houston and advises the Mayor and City Council in consular and dignitary activities, as well as outbound trade development missions. Jessica manages Houston's official partnerships and agreements, Sister Cities programs, development of global youth and international education initiatives, and international programs to achieve Houston’s diplomatic, civic and trade engagement goals. She has organized major events such as galas, summits, business forums, conferences, and diplomatic ceremonies that enrich Houston's economic, cultural, and educational landscape.

Prior to serving as Chief of Protocol, Jessica served as the Protocol and International Programs Manager for Mayor's Office of Trade and International Affairs. She graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Communications and is a certified Intercultural Etiquette and Protocol trainer and consultant. Her passion for cultural exchange and diplomacy is shared in her work with reputable organizations such as the Asia Society, UNICEF, Consulate, and multiple business and marketing firms. Jessica is fluent in English and Vietnamese.

Connect with José  Carrillo on Linked InJosé CarrilloJose Carrillo
International Affairs Manager
As the International Affairs Associate, Jose works closely with the City’s Senior Consular & International Affairs Manager to help foster a strong relationship between the Consular Corps of Houston and the City of Houston. He also works closely with the City’s Protocol Manager by carrying out flag etiquette, protocol seating, and other key aspects of protocol in diplomacy. 

Jose is the Co-Coordinator for the office’s internship program. He provides instruction and guidance to ensure the student’s internships are engaging and informative. Jose also oversees the office’s official correspondence by drafting letters for the Mayor to Ambassadors, Ministers, Consuls General, etc. Jose assists planning out the Mayor’s Consular Ball by serving as a point of contact for sponsors, the consular corps, and tracking sponsorship information.

He is a native Houstonian that graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minor in Law, Policy, and Values. He has lived in Brazil and Canada. Jose speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French.