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about us

Our Mission/Objectives
OUR
Vision

Position Atlanta as a welcoming City—a connected, inclusive community that uplifts our foreign-born population and provides an opportunity for all—and a global hub for diplomacy, business, innovation, education, culture, and sports.

OUR
Missions

Inclusion is a part of Atlanta’s DNA and we stand proud as a welcoming city.

 

MOIIA's mission is to develop and foster relationships between Atlanta's international communities, City departments, and external partners to empower our foreign-born population through access to information, programs, and services, and to address local and global challenges.

To empower Atlanta’s foreign-born population to meaningfully engage in civic life, achieve self-sufficiency, and thrive by instituting inclusive programs and policies and strengthening relationships with international partners, City departments, and stakeholders.

Our Mission/Objectives
OUR
Objectives
  • Protocol and Diplomacy

Lead the City’s diplomacy efforts and International Partnerships by engaging with local partners, and national and international counterparts to identify solutions to local and global challenges.

  • Youth and Education

Supporting opportunities for international education and youth engagement.

 

  • Neighborhood Empowerment and Safe Streets

Enhance public safety, access to internal and external services and programs, and community trust through place-based community outreach efforts.

*National security and other types of international work to be included​

  • Positioning Atlanta as a Welcoming City

Promote Atlanta as a Welcoming City through the adoption of welcoming policies, inclusive programming, the attraction of international events, and support of activities led by our immigrant communities to showcase the diversity of our city and celebrate the contributions of our foreign-born population.

  • Promoting International Business & Economic Development Opportunities

Focus on trade, building international strategic partnerships, and providing resources for minority & women-owned businesses.

  • Elevating Atlanta as a Global Sports Hub

Hosting visits and exchanges that increase dialogue and cultural understanding and highlighting Atlanta’s international passion for sports while promoting inclusion, diversity, equity, and cultural experiences to Atlanta’s youth.

Message fom Mayor Bottoms

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

Our Team

meet our team

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Vanessa Ibarra
Executive Director
Paulina Guzman
Deputy Director
Valerie Mills
Senior Manager
Eduardo Munoz
Project Manager
Meredith Steinmetz-Rodriguez
Global Engagement Manager
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Holly Malerba
Community Programs Manager
Christina Chu
Community Outreach Coordinator
Rolando Restrepo
Operations and Project Coordinator
Peter Pimentel
Community Empowerment Manager
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