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about us

OUR
Mission

The mission of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs (MOIA) is to develop and foster relationships with Atlanta’s international community, economic development partners,  government agencies, and academic and cultural institutions to position Atlanta as a global hub for commerce, innovation, education, culture, diplomacy, and sports.

 
OUR
Objectives
  • Promote International Business & Investment Opportunities:

Promoting trade, global connectivity, & international strategic partnerships between the City of Atlanta & international stakeholders

  • Protocol & Diplomacy:

Liaise with & support the Members of the Consular Corps, international community, sister city relationships, welcome foreign delegations, & provide protocol guidance to City departments & organizations based in Atlanta.​

 

  • International Education & Youth Engagement:

Collaborate with Atlanta based academic institutions to develop students’ cross-cultural competencies & foreign language acquisition to establish a competitive global workforce.​

  • Hosting & Attracting International Events:

Attracting physical & virtual international events to grow Atlanta’s global brand, increase domestic spending, & bring cultural experiences to all Atlantans.

  • Position Atlanta as a Global Sports Hub:

Promoting Atlanta as the leading place for sports & encourage sports as a vehicle to being communities & cultures together.​

  • Support the City of Atlanta & Mayoral-led Initiatives:

Ensure that the City of Atlanta & the Mayor have the necessary support to serve the public & ensure business continuity for the City.​

Meet mayor andre dickens

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Andre Dickens is the 61st Mayor of Atlanta. A proud native of Atlanta and a product of Atlanta Public Schools, Mayor Dickens is focused on bringing opportunity and equity to the city that he loves. 

Mayor Dickens’ agenda is rooted in Moving Atlanta Forward, through improving public safety, increasing opportunities for the city’s young people, empowering neighborhoods, and investing in housing and combatting homelessness, all while fostering a culture of integrity in the City. As he shared in his first State of the City address, his vision for Atlanta is:

One city with one bright future. A city of safe, healthy, connected neighborhoods with an expansive culture of equity, empowering upward mobility and full participation for all residents, embracing youth development, and an innovative, dependable government moving Atlanta forward, together.

Mayor Dickens was sworn in as Mayor in January 2022. Early accomplishments include making the City’s first-ever investment in early childhood education; the establishment of the Nightlife Division to address establishments with a history of high crime; the reestablishment of the Pothole Posse to rapidly respond to residents’ reports; and leading the successful coalition to keep Atlanta whole in opposition to a de-annexation effort.

Prior to his election as Mayor, Dickens served eight years as an at-large City Council member. He was an entrepreneur for over a decade in both the private and nonprofit sectors and a leader in Atlanta’s tech sector. Mayor Dickens is a graduate of Mays High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology as well as a Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University.

As the Post 3 At-Large City Council member from 2014 to 2021, Andre Dickens was a vocal legislative leader on public safety, transportation, affordable housing, workforce development, educational opportunities for Atlanta Public Schools students, and seasoned citizens programming. He served as the chairman of the Transportation Committee, providing oversight to city streets, bridges, sidewalks, paths, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport.

Some of his legislative highlights include: creating the Department of Transportation, sponsoring legislation increasing annual salaries for Senior Patrol Officers, implementing a $15 per hour minimum wage for city employees, establishing BeltLine Inclusionary Zoning for affordable housing, establishing the Atlanta Youth Commission, setting aside a $40 million Housing Opportunity Bond, creating a joint commission between City Council and APS board, and establishing a BeltLine senior housing rehab program. In 2017, he sponsored and helped launch the Teen “Midnight” Basketball League, a program which includes workshops that help young men develop life skills and further their education.

Mayor Dickens previously served as the Chief Development Officer for TechBridge, a nonprofit that drives community impact by bringing affordable technology and business expertise to other nonprofit organizations. In 2018, he co-founded the Technology Career Program, a free program designed to prepare unemployed and individuals experiencing disadvantage in the work field for a career in the growing technology job market. The program teaches high demand technology skills while helping participants land jobs in IT departments across Atlanta. 

Mayor Dickens also previously served as the Assistant Director of Outreach Initiatives for Georgia Tech’s Office of Institute Diversity. He spearheaded Tech’s African-American Male Institute, which resulted in a significant increase in the GPA and graduation rate among Black males. He also managed the Focus graduate school recruitment program and the Challenge Program that helped hundreds of students successfully transition into college life each year. 

Early in his career, Mayor Dickens worked as a sales engineer for DSM Engineering Plastics and became the youngest and first Black salesman of the year. At the age of 28, he co-founded City Living Home Furnishings, which grew into a multi-million-dollar retail business with two locations. Mayor Dickens ran the company for nine years until 2011.

Mayor Dickens has been a member of the Georgia Tech Alumni Board of Directors and is an alumnus of Leadership Atlanta, Diversity Leadership Atlanta, United Way VIP, and Regional Leadership Institute. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc.; deacon of New Horizon Baptist Church and has served on the boards of the Atlanta BeltLine, Invest Atlanta, TechBridge and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Mayor Dickens enjoys spending time with his daughter, experiencing live music, attending church services, and traveling the world. He is an avid supporter of all of Atlanta’s sports teams.

Video Credit: Mayor's Office of Communications

 
 

meet our team

VANESSA IBARRA

As Director of International Affairs for the City of Atlanta, Ms. Ibarra plans, develops and implements the international activities of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. She assists in facilitating trade, economic development, tourism, and cultural initiatives for the City of Atlanta and liaises with local, national and international agencies.

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Director
PAULINA GUZMAN

As Deputy Director of Diplomacy and External Affairs, Ms. Guzman advises, assists, and supports city officials on matters of diplomatic procedures and is responsible for planning visits and welcoming diplomats, foreign officials, and other distinguished guests to Atlanta. She also oversees the office’s international education activities.

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Deputy Director, Diplomacy and External Affairs

As Global Engagement Manager, Ms. Steinmetz-Rodriguez supports senior staff in their economic development efforts and in executing inbound and out-bound exchanges by providing market research and briefings. She also leads the office's marketing efforts and the new Global Sports Initiative.

Global Engagement Manager
MEREDITH STEINMETZ-RODRIGUEZ