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International Initiatives

The Mayor's Office of International Affairs manages various international initiatives that increase Atlanta's global engagement.


AtlantaSisterCitiesCommissionmode (1)The Mayor's Office of International Affairs provides staff support to the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission. Since 1974, the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission (ASCC) has been an affiliate of Sister Cities International, the national membership association for sister city, county and state programs in the United States. Click here for more information on Atlanta's 18 sister city linkages and the work done to promote economic development, education partnerships and cultural exchange.

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IA_Startup_Exchange_logoIn 2016, the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs and Invest Atlanta launched the first International Startup Exchange program. The program provided selected emerging enterprises a platform for global expansion through a two-week international residency. The residency also provided an opportunity to showcase the City of Atlanta as an economically sound choice for their North American operations in the future.

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GCILaunched in 2012 by the Brookings Institute and JPMorgan Chase, the Global Cities Initiative is a five-year, $10 million project that aims to help leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their economies toward greater engagement in world markets. Since launching Atlanta’s participation in 2013, the Global Cities Initiative has led to the release of the Atlanta Metro Export Plan and the Metro Atlanta Foreign Direct Investment Plan, both outlining key strategies for stimulating metro Atlanta’s economy and creating quality jobs for Atlantans.

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YALIThe YALI program was launched in 2010 by the Obama Administration to invest in the next generation of African leaders. Through educational and cultural affairs programs, exchanges, small grants, and partnerships YALI has created programs to foster economic growth, promote food security, bolster entrepreneurial activity, develop clean, affordable energy systems and address health issues in Africa. Clark Atlanta University is hosting 25 YALI scholars for an intensive summer institute focused on business and entrepreneurship as a partner with the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Program. Additionally, various YALI interns will be placed throughout the city of Atlanta with government agencies and other organizations to gain real-world experience and make strategic connections in the United States

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Welcoming AtlantaOn October 22, 2013, Mayor Kasim Reed committed the city of Atlanta to join the Welcoming America Initiative. Welcoming America is a national, grass-root collaborative that works to promote mutual respect and cooperation between native-born and foreign-born Americans.  The city of Atlanta has the 2nd fastest growing foreign-born population among the nation's 20 largest metropolitan areas, and Atlanta's immigrant population is higher than the national average of 13%. Through the Welcoming Atlanta Initiative, Atlanta seeks to create a more welcoming environment and a more inclusive, immigrant-friendly community. The working group is comprised of volunteers from the Atlanta Police Department, the Atlanta Consular Corps, Georgia State House of Representatives, non-profit organizations, refugee service organizations, immigrant law firms and many other organizations.

To learn more, visit:

Mayor's Office of International Affairs | 133 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 2900 |  Atlanta, GA 30303

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