The International Division has three mandates:
Engage the diplomatic community in Washington, D.C.,
Oversee the Governor’s Subcabinet for International Affairs, and
Manage the Maryland Sister States Program.
Engaging the Diplomatic Community
The International Division works with ambassadors, attaches, and staff to organize meetings and make connections for them and their visiting delegations around the state. Meetings and programs range in topics from, but not limited to, economic development, agriculture, education, arts and culture, health care, and the environment.
Governor’s Subcabinet on International Affairs
Maryland’s Secretary of State is the Chairperson for the Governor’s Subcabinet on International Affairs. The Subcabinet on International Affairs was created by Executive Order in 2001, and amended in 2005 under Executive Order
The Sub Cabinet is composed of the Secretaries of state agencies with some responsibilities that touch on international affairs: Commerce, Agriculture, Transportation, Higher Education, and Environment. The Lieutenant Governor also sits on the Sub Cabinet. Representatives of other state agencies sometimes sit in as guests.
The Sub Cabinet brings the state’s important international engagement under one umbrella to ensure an effective and cohesive global strategy. It encourages open communication and collaboration among Maryland's state agencies.
The Maryland Sister States Program
The Maryland Sister States Program was established to provide a forum for the promotion of international cooperation and understanding. Through broad-based citizen participation in a wide variety of exchanges in areas of mutual interest, the Sister States Program offers countless opportunities to develop partnerships around the world.
The Maryland Sister States Program was established in 1980 and currently includes 20 relationships in 17 countries. The Maryland Sister States Program partners with the Sister States of Maryland, Inc., a private, not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of Maryland.
The Maryland Sister States Program relies on the Sister States of Maryland, Inc.’s extensive network of representative volunteer committees for development of Maryland’s Sister State relationships. Together with the Sister States of Maryland, Inc., the Maryland Sister States Program draws upon the expertise and experience of individuals from institutions, businesses, and organizations across Maryland to support these important subnational partnerships.
When added to their overseas counterparts, these committees form a powerful network both at home and abroad for fostering public/private cross-fertilization and social and economic growth. Sister States relationships are significant in an age in which state and regional governments have an increasingly greater role in events.
By giving access to policy makers, the people-to-people contacts of the Sister States Program add a human dimension to governmental interaction. They help to create a friendly and receptive climate for developing multi-faceted ties in today’s closely integrated but highly competitive environment.
Anhui Province, China 1980
Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan 1981
Walloon Region, Belgium 1989
Nord-Pas de Calais, France 1981-2019
Gyeongsangnam-Do, Korea 1991 - - -
MOU signed October 2023 Lodz Region, Poland 1993
State of Jalisco, Mexico 1993
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1999
Bong and Maryland Counties, Liberia 2007
Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam 2011
Kocaeli Municipality, Turkey 2012
County Cork, Ireland 2013
Ondo and Cross River States, Nigeria 2013
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa 2015
Negev Administrative District, Israel, 2016
Jeollanam-Do, Korea 2017
Piura, Peru 2018
Hauts-de-France, France 2020
IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS:
Mary E. Nitsch, Director of International Affairs at 443-401-9850