A year ago, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken institutionalized the Department of State’s Subnational Diplomacy Unit, which does important work to connect foreign policy with the American people through city, state, and local leaders across the United States.

Led by Ambassador Nina Hachigian, the Special Representative for City and State Diplomacy, this team has forged essential connections between the Department and city, county, state, and community leaders, ensuring their voices resonate on the international stage and their perspective is reflected in U.S. foreign policy. The Department recognizes that local leaders are not only on the frontlines of today’s transnational threats, ranging from climate change to pandemics to synthetic drugs, but they also innovate solutions to these problems. By making foreign policy less “foreign” to the American people, the Department has established new channels for local leaders to represent their constituents on the global stage, displayed in the historic Cities Summit of the Americas in Denver this past April.

Creating the Subnational Diplomacy Unit marked the beginning of the Department’s renewed focus on engaging with and connecting local and international officials. The Department looks forward to continuing to positively engage with mayors, governors, and other local leaders across the globe as we work to resolve many of our shared challenges.