Atlanta, August 18, 2022 — On the heels of joining a delegation representing the United States in Geneva as part of the country’s presentation to the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Mayor Andre Dickens announced the City of Atlanta has established the Mayor’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs. Mayor Dickens initiated – and City Council approved – the reorganization of the newly established Office, which merges the current Immigrant Affairs Division of the Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion with the Office of International Affairs.
“Atlanta is a welcoming, international city committed to developing and fostering relationships that position us as a global hub for commerce, innovation, culture and diplomacy,” said Mayor Dickens. “From owning and operating the world’s busiest and most efficient airport to being home to numerous Fortune 500 companies and consulates, our influence spans the globe and this office will only foster the growth of that influence.”
The Mayor’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs will be led by current International Affairs Director, Vanessa Ibarra in a cabinet-level position. Under her leadership, the office will have an expanded focus beyond current international affairs focus areas, will align outreach and engagement activities with the City’s local initiatives as well as focus on connecting various departments within City government with counterparts abroad to address local issues and exchange best practices. Additionally, the Office will continue to stay to committed to fostering a connected community of all Atlantans through programs and policies that improve the day-to-day lives of immigrant Atlantans.
One of the first initiatives of the Mayor’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs will be hosting the 39th annual Consular Ball on Sept. 17, 2022, in conjunction with the Georgia Council for International Visitors. This event honors the Georgia Consular Corps and the influence of Atlanta’s international community.
Earlier this year, Mayor Dickens was named a Co-Chair of the Truman Center for National Policy’s new Task Force on City and State Diplomacy. Supported by the Open Society Foundations, this effort will address states, cities and other subnational actors as essential participants in foreign policy.