Sister Cities Hiring Part-Time Leadership Academy Coordinator

Fort Worth Sister Cities is hiring a part-time Leadership Academy Coordinator to manage the International Leadership Academy (ILA) and Jr. International Leadership Academy (JILA).

The International Leadership Academy is a dynamic summer leadership programs bringing Fort Worth students together with students from our Sister Cities in China, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Swaziland.

Jr. ILA is open to sixth- through eighth-grade students and focuses on cultural understanding taught by international college students from Mexico and Swaziland who have participated in previous ILA programs.

If interested, please email resume and cover letter to

Job Description

Job Specifications

High school education or equivalent is required. Must have project management experience and possess the ability to meet deadlines. Must work well under pressure. Good organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills are required. Must be able to prioritize and handle projects from start to finish. Visual and mental concentration is necessary for working at computer for extended periods of time and tolerating frequent interruptions while performing tasks.

Key Activities

(1) Work with leadership and staff on all aspects of ILA/JILA

(2) Recruit, train and supervise Fort Worth and international interns

(3) Oversee management and acquisition of all supplies

(4) Assist leaders with pre-Academy training sessions for local students

(5) Oversee arrival/departure of all international participants

(6) Oversee successful home hosting experiences for international delegates

(6) Provide 24/7 on-call service during ILA

The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being performed. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of the position. Employees holding this position will be required to perform any other job-related duties as requested by management. All requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with a disability.

Expert to Discuss U.S.-Japan Security Alliance

FORT WORTH, TX – Sister Cities and Fort Worth Chamber team up on global security discussion

Fort Worth Sister Cities International and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce invite you to join Ret. Colonel Grant Newsham, senior research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies, for a talk on the crucial U.S.-Japan security alliance and the challenges the new administration may face in the region.  Time will also be given for discussion surrounding this issue following Newsham’s presentation.

Newsham will address the changing relationship with Japan militarily in the western pacific region and its impact, as well as what the U.S. can do moving forward with its international partners.

“Mr. Newsham’s talk is particularly relevant, given President Trump’s recent meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and their reaffirmation of mutual commitment towards political, military, and economic support for each other,” said Dr. Michael Roemer, Director of Global Initiatives at Trinity Valley School and the Nagaoka, Japan Chair for Fort Worth Sister Cities.

Newsham’s research focuses on Asia/Pacific defense and political and economic matters. He was the first U.S. Marine Liaison Officer to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. He previously served at Marine Forces Pacific Headquarters in Honolulu and has served twice as the U.S. Marine Attaché, U.S. Embassy Tokyo.

“Fort Worth is fortunate to have a guest of Colonel Newsham’s caliber to inform the community about current U.S./Japan relations,” said Melonye Whitson, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s Vice President of Economic Development. “Educating Fort Worth residents and businesses about the value of multi-cultural relationships prepares them for a global world economy.”

The luncheon will be held February 28 in the Fort Worth Camelia Room. Tickets can be purchased until February 24 at or by calling the Sister Cities’ office at 817/632-7100.

German Connections on the Rise

Fort Worth, Texas – Business and educational opportunities abound 

Fort Worth City Manager, David Cooke, and Fort Worth Sister Cities International Chair, Johnny Campbell of Sundance Square, recently returned from an economic, cultural, and diplomatic mission to Trier, Germany, along with a delegation of eighteen.

The focus of the delegation visit included: (1) Municipal and governmental connections for economic growth (2) Small business connections (3) Education on the refugee crisis in Germany and (4) Connecting Trier and Fort Worth through health-related activities such as Fit Worth and Blue Zones.

“Fort Worth is committed to growing educational, business, and cultural connections with our partners around the world and we know this is needed now more than ever.  We must nurture these relationships to grow them,” said Campbell.

A presentation focusing on the results of the mission and next steps will be made by Campbell and Hannah Behrens, Trier Committee Chair, Feb. 7 at the Fort Worth City Council meeting at City Hall beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Trier was signed as Fort Worth’s second sister city in 1987.  This partnership has resulted in many programs including: high school and university exchanges; partnerships with artists participating in Main Street Arts Festival; exchanges with the Fort Worth Fire Dept.; internships in the Sister Cities’ office, as well as local law firms; cultural exchanges; and hunting expeditions into the mountains of Germany and across the plains of Texas.

Trier Mayor Leibe and an official delegation will visit Fort Worth Oct. 1 – 5, 2017 to continue the progress made by the Fort Worth team.  To learn more or to get involved, call Danielle McCown at 817/632-7100 or


Global Connections Thrive in Fort Worth

Fort Worth, Texas Fort Worth Sister Cities International Kicks Off 2017 Members Circle Campaign 

Led by Bob Jameson, 2017 Campaign Chair and President of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, the 2017 Members Circle is a thriving network of individuals, organizations, corporations and community leaders committed to expanding global relationships for peace and prosperity at home and abroad. Lead donors to this year’s campaign will be recognized at the Mayor’s International Dinner at the Omni Hotel on June 1.

Due to the generosity of corporate and individual donors, Sister Cities is starting the year with $180,925 in Members Circle commitments and is on its way to meeting a $400,000 goal.  This early support comes from Sundance Square, as the Platinum member; the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rae & Michael Hyatt, and Texas Health Resources as Premier members; Bennett Benner Partners, and Linebarger Goggan Blair & Simpson, LLP as Global members; Alcon, Cook Children’s, The Law Office of Greg Jackson, Mary Palko and Tarrant County College as Presidential members; as well as 100% of the Sister Cities’ board of directors and many others.

After a very successful 2016, Fort Worth Sister Cities continues to promote Fort Worth globally and enrich the local community through international education, exchange and commerce.  “We had a warm welcome from the community last year and loved sharing our story with a record number of people,” said Johnny Campbell, Board Chairman. “Our business is people-to-people relationships.  We do it well and want to do even more to benefit Fort Worth.”

Funding and in-kind support from the City of Fort Worth (4% of Sister Cities’ total budget) plays a key role in Sister Cities’ mission, but most work is made possible through public support like that received through the Members Circle.

To support Fort Worth Sister Cities and join the 2017 Members Circle, contact Katie Wharry at 817-632-7101 or

New Services Provided by Fort Worth Sister Cities

Fort Worth, Texas – Sister Cities Trains Visitors Center Staff on International Protocol 

As part of its strategic plan, Fort Worth Sister Cities International is establishing a wide-range of protocol training courses for businesses and individuals in the community.

The Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Visitors Center’s staff recently took part in training focused on how to welcome international visitors to Fort Worth creating an exceptional experience for them.  The class was held earlier this week at the Norris Conference Center in downtown Fort Worth.

“To provide the best experience that we can and to help boost international visitation, we want to be well-prepared,” said Bob Jameson, President/CEO of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. “International visitors represent 5% of total visitors to the city and because they spend more than domestic tourists, they represent 16% of total spending,” said Jameson.  In Texas alone tourism generates $1.9 billion annually.

Led by Mae Ferguson, President/CEO and Protocol Officer of Fort Worth Sister Cities International, the training session provided the CVB staff tools on how they can be better prepared to welcome all guests to Fort Worth creating that unique experience.

“International travelers can have a more meaningful and memorable stay in Fort Worth if we are all better prepared to host them in a respectful and welcoming way.  With training to understand different cultures, we can be better prepared,” said Ferguson.

Similar classes are scheduled for the DFW International Airport and Bell Helicopter. For information on future training classes, contact Katie Wharry at

Sister Cities Presents Protocol 101

Fort Worth, Texas – What you need to know before you go!   

Mayor Mori and Mayor PriceFort Worth Sister Cities International is conducting its first community class on why protocol is necessary in today’s world for both business and leisure travel.   The class will take place Sept. 29, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at BBVA Compass 3rd floor conference room located at One Museum Way: 3100 W. 7th Street Suite 310, Fort Worth, TX.  A nominal fee of $35 includes lecture, class materials, certificate of Citizen Diplomacy, and light snack. For tickets visit the Sister Cities website at

IMG_0412Led by Susan Turner, Senior Protocol Officer at Lockheed Martin, Protocol 101 will give attendees traveling for business or pleasure the tools they need to be good citizen diplomats representing Fort Worth, Texas and the U.S.A. In a humorous, rapid fire presentation, Turner will discuss ways to capitalize on your experience.

mayor signing“Today, business decisions come down to more than dollars and cents, tax incentives, and the bottom line. How people feel about the community, its leadership, its civic spirit, and its culture matter just as much, if not more,” says Mae Ferguson, President/CEO and Protocol Officer of Fort Worth Sister Cities International. Ferguson also says, “Leisure travelers can receive more meaningful experiences with training to either gain new perspectives or by learning to invest in the people of the places they visit.”

For more information and to make your reservation, please contact Danielle at

Fort Worth To Celebrate 5th Anniversary With Chinese Partner

Fort Worth, Texas – Mayor Pro Tem Espino leading group to China  

Guiyang, ChinaFort Worth Mayor Pro Tem Sal Espino will lead a delegation of twenty Fort Worth Ambassadors to Guiyang, China June 11-19 to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the partnership as sister cities.

07 - Baby Miao, a Chinese ethnic minority...she is a global thinker alreadyThe exchange will consist of three nights in Guiyang, visiting local sites of interest as well as an official commemoration of the establishment of the partnership at city hall and a celebration banquet following. The exchange will also include a visit to Beijing to see the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, and a tour of the Forbidden City as well as a visit to Shanghai. 

“Fort Worth is eager to recommit to this important relationship with Guiyang and looks forward to many more beneficial exchanges between our two cities.  Together, Fort Worth and Guiyang, hope to create a better understanding of our individual cultures. There are many similarities and many differences we will be able to share,” said Mayor Pro Tem Espino.

grp photo_nice scenaryThe group will also include Youth Ambassadors who will be home hosted while in Guiyang. Fort Worth and Guiyang have developed a strong reciprocal youth program with students visiting each other’s cities annually. Fort Worth will be hosting fifteen Chinese students at its International Leadership Academy in July.

Guiyang is Fort Worth’s eighth sister city and the 124th U.S. city to form a partnership in China.

Mayor Price To Visit Fort Worth’s Sister City In Mexico – Toluca

Fort Worth, TX– Price to meet Mexican Mayor for talks on future collaborations 

tolucaIt is only appropriate that Mayor Betsy Price visit Fort Worth’s closest sister city Toluca, Mexico. Toluca was signed as an official partner in 1998. Mayor Price’s visit comes at the end of a DFW Airport mission trip to Mexico City where she and Dallas Mayor Rawlings are promoting the opportunities of the North Texas Region.

“Fort Worth Sister Cities plays a huge role in enhancing the image of our city abroad. Our city’s future is bright and continues to focus on promoting international business, trade and tourism,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “These are the reasons I am headed to meet with our sister city partner in Mexico. It’s about making those connections and putting Fort Worth on the map.”

Mae Ferguson, Jose Luis Velasco, Mayor Gonzalez, MOnica Gaytan, Eva Bonilla, Nicholas Peffer, x, JJ WalkerWhile in Toluca, Price will visit with Mayor Zamora, city councilors, and business leaders to discuss potential partnership opportunities and exchanges. She will also receive information on the upcoming youth and educator exchanges that will occur over the summer and discuss an upcoming Women’s Symposia co-sponsored by the Women’s Policy Forum of Fort Worth to be held in the spring of 2017.

Toluca, MexicoToluca, officially called Toluca de Lerdo is the state capital of Mexico State, as well as the seat of the Municipality of Toluca. It is the center of a rapidly growing urban area, now the fifth largest in Mexico. Toluca is located in the economic center of Mexico. Toluca has become an important economic city because of its industries and infrastructure that produce beverages, food, textiles, cars, and electronic products.

Sister Cities Leads Group to Cuba

Fort Worth, Texas – Delegation visits Cuba on educational mission

cuba photoTwenty-six Fort Worth Sister Cities International delegates will depart Friday on an eight day educational mission to Cuba to learn more about the country and to promote Fort Worth. The delegation will consist of representatives from the business, education, arts and tourism sectors.

While there the delegation will visit Santa Clara, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, the Viñales Valley and Havana.

unesco-world-heritage-cuba-trinidad-valle-lose-ingenios-002.jpg.rend.tccom.1280.960Special meetings are set with the U.S. Embassy staff in Havana to discuss the current political climate of the country. While in Havana the delegation will also meet with Professor Carlos Alzugaray Treto on U.S./Cuba Relations. Professor Alzugaray is the Former Cuban Ambassador to the European Union and former Director of the Institute of Foreign Relations in Havana.

“Fort Worth is looking for new opportunities to connect with the world. We are not actively seeking a new sister city at this time but a city in Cuba could be a possibility in the future,” said Michael Bennett, Board Chair. “With diplomatic relations now established between the U.S. and Cuba and travel restrictions being lifted soon, a relationship with Cuba could be of benefit to Fort Worth residents.”

unesco-world-heritage-cuba-valle-de-vinales-pinar-rio-province-005.jpg.rend.tccom.1280.960Sister Cities is working with Cuba Cultural Travel, an operator under a “People to People” license required by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury who sets regulations for any American citizen wishing to travel to Cuba.

The delegation will be led by Fort Worth Sister Cities board members Mike and Rae Hyatt, Ann Rice, and President/CEO Mae Ferguson.

Ambassador Educators to Represent Fort Worth

Fort Worth, TX – Sister Cities selects leaders for international youth exchangesDLs at crater

Twelve delegation leaders from area schools and organizations were recently selected to lead youth exchanges to five of Fort Worth’s sister cities next year.  Nearly 100 local students will be interviewed for approx. 80 slots on the exchanges starting Nov. 2, 2015.

Ambassador Educators selected to represent Fort Worth abroad are:

Spring exchanges March 12-20, 2016
  • Reggio Emilia, Italy: Sandy Yeandle, Daggett Montessori & Vicki Delgado, Leonard MS
  • Trier, Germany: Marvin Vann Griffith, Southwest HS & Beth Weibel, Sr. Program Manager, Fort Worth Sister Cities
  • Budapest, Hungary: Jay Kurima, FWISD TABS & Ana Castenada, South Hills High School
  • Toluca, Mexico: Nathan Henderson, Stripling Middle School & Rachel Jenkins, UTA
Summer exchanges June 10-August 4, 2016
  • Guiyang, China, June 10-19:  Tracey Cravens, Northside HS & Cindy Vasquez, City of FW
  • Nagaoka, Japan, June 22-July 1: Kathy Roemer, Fort Worth Country Day & Maria Saucedo, World Languages Institute
  • Nagaoka, Japan: July 27-August 4: Kimberly Tezak-Daus, Diamond Hill Jarvis High School & James Gleaton, Paschal High School

“International exchanges give students possibly their first opportunity to travel abroad, which is almost always described as a life-changing experience. Without these amazing teachers and professionals to lead the students through sometimes difficult and unfamiliar circumstances, this would not be possible,” said Michael Bennett, Chairman of the Board of Sister Cities.

Local educators benefit greatly from travel abroad programs.  They have the opportunity to develop their craft by being exposed to different people and cultures, gain leadership skills by mentoring students outside the classroom, network with international educators, and travel to rich and interesting cultures.