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Friendship Cities Program Policy



Friendship Cities exist to strengthen international ties and further strategic exchanges between San Diego and the world.

The International Affairs Board

The International Affairs Board (IAB) is an advisory board to the Mayor of San Diego and the City Council on the impact of international affairs on the City. The IAB exists to promote San Diego’s global engagement.

City of San Diego

San Diego is a city defined by quality of life and innovation. As the 8th largest city in the United States, San Diego has over 1.4 million residents, 100 unique neighborhoods, and over 100 languages and dialects from around the world.  San Diego is an economic powerhouse poised on the doorstep of Latin America and the Asia-Pacific, providing a unique international component to the city’s future growth.


The Friendship Cities Program (FCP) was developed by the IAB to support and enhance San Diego’s global identity by seeking to increase global engagements with international cities that share strategic commonalities with the City. These commonalities can include innovation, science and technology, environmental protection and coastal sustainability, border management, gastronomy, tourism, arts and culture. We also welcome partnerships and sharing of best practices on common challenges including fire and flood prevention, homelessness, and refugees.

Policy and Procedures

1.      Friendship Cities will be adopted to advance the needs of the City and promote San Diego’s global identity.

2.      The IAB is responsible for the approval process of a Friendship City.

3.      A Friendship City will require local sponsorship and recommendation by a business, community, organizational leader, or by an IAB member before approval.

4.      The sponsoring organization of each Friendship Cities Program Designation must complete an Annual Report of activities and exchanges between the IAB and the Friendship City and submit it to the IAB.


To inquire about establishing a Friendship City, please email: [email protected]



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