Sister Cities of Houston

The sister city concept was launched in 1956 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed linking the cities of America with cities in other countries to exchange people, ideas and cultures.  The goals of the sister cities movement are:

  • To develop municipal partnerships between U.S. towns, cities, counties, states, and similar jurisdictions in other countries;
  • To create opportunities for citizens to experience and explore other cultures through long-term municipal partnerships;
  • To create an atmosphere for development in economics and trade; and
  • To collaborate with organizations in the U.S. and other nations that have similar goals

In 1993, Sister Cities of Houston, Inc. was formed to serve as an umbrella organization, which represents all 18 sister city associations in Houston, and enables them to work together on joint projects.  The SCH board is composed of representatives from each of the sister city associations.

The sister city associations develop intercultural understanding and promote international trade and commerce, economic development and tourism. Each association in Houston determines their own local initiatives and develops programs. For more information about Sister Cities of Houston, its associations, and events, please click here.

In 2019, Houston served as the city host for the Sister Cities International Annual Conference. As a key part to the conference was the Youth Leadership Summit (YLS). YLS is designed to engage the next generation of leaders and introduce them to the world of international affairs. Through a specialized diplomatic simulation, site visits, speaker sessions, and peer collaboration, participants will learn how different national interests drive international cooperation on critical issues. As part of Houston International Initiatives’ goals and objectives to the youth and educational programs, HII sponsored five local students to participate in this prestigious summit. Out of the hundreds of the summit’s participants from around the world, one of five HII’s sponsored students was selected by Houston Independent School District (HISD) as the recipient for People to People Scholarship to attend the People to People Conference in New Mexico on July 21, 2019.