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Sister Cities International

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Diplomatic Officials, City Leaders and Subject-Matter Experts to Kick Off Silk Road Engagement at "Cities Leading the Way" August 2 - 4

Washington, DC, August 01, 2018 --( Experts and officials from around the globe will converge on Aurora, Colorado on Thursday, August 2nd to participate in the Silk Road Conference Track as part of Sister Cities International’s 2018 Annual Conference, “Cities Leading the Way.”

The Silk Road Conference track will explore the Silk Road’s history and share best practices of Sister City members will Silk Road partners. Explore new opportunities for Sister City programs with entities like the National Guard, universities, and a myriad of cultural and commercial public-private partnerships. Special guest speakers, academic experts, and members of the Diplomatic Corps will dive into topics like the Aral Sea crisis and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.

“This important gathering is the start of a larger exploration on behalf of Sister Cities International to bring together communities on and interested in the new Silk Road to discuss development and opportunities for the future,” said Carol Robertson Lopez, Board Secretary of Sister Cities International and Co-Founder of the Sister Cities Silk Road Program.

Attendees and speakers will include:

· Ambassador Kadyr Toktogulov of Kyrgyzstan, speaking about the value of Sister Cities from a diplomat’s perspective,
· Ambassador Javlon Vakhabov of Uzbekistan, discussing the significance of the Silk Road in Uzbekistan and the country’s future developments and plans to open to the world,
· Ambassador John O’Keefe, sharing the value of the Open World Leadership Center in Silk Road relationships and the importance of engaging Central Asia,
· James F. Wagenlander, the Honorary Consul General of Mongolia, teaching best practices and strategies for Sister Cities to tap into Silk Road relationships, and
· Professor Aaron T. Wolf, sharing his expertise on shared water resources in Central Asia and promoting “hydro-cooperation,” in the region.

Attendees will also receive messages from Second Lady Karen Pence, who is the Honorary Vice Chair of Sister Cities International, as well as Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Conference sponsors include Toyota Motor North America, the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, the Mary Ellen and Michael E Fox Family Foundation, H.I.S. International Tours, Inc., American University, ADEC Innovations Health Solutions, Hogan Lovells and Hans and Erika Vielberth.
Contact Information
Sister Cities International
Christina Burchette
202 347 4876
Ginger Moxey
242 602 5555

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