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Sister Cities: International Sister Cities of Rochester

World map with text that reads "Bringing the world a little closer"

A Global Bond

Visitors from Rennes, France standing in front of a bus in Rochester in 1967

The Sister Cities Program was developed in 1956 to enlist hundreds of thousands of volunteer citizen-diplomats in a quest for world peace. President Dwight David Eisenhower initiated this "people-to-people" program to encourage Americans to communicate with people around the globe and for communities to bond together by engaging in projects that are mutually beneficial.

Given the diversity of ethnic origins of its population, and its strong international business ties, the City of Rochester was one of the first to develop closer ties with its counterparts abroad when Mayor Peter Barry signed its initial Sister City agreement with Rennes, France, in 1958. International Sister Cities of Rochester and its sister city committees organize and carry out Rochester's Sister Cities Program. Relying on the support of volunteers from throughout the Rochester region, ISCOR promotes international understanding, cooperation, and development through a variety of dynamic exchanges with its sister cities around the globe. ISCOR supports projects which link the sister cities, and serves as an international gateway for municipal, economic, cultural, educational, medical, and governmental exchanges between Rochester and its sister cities.

The organization is governed by its Board of Trustees and the Mayor serves as the honorary chair. The Board includes the chairpersons of each sister city committee, elected officials, and other individuals who are active in the international arena. International Sister Cities of Rochester is also a member of the national organization, Sister Cities International, located in Washington, D.C. 


The City of Rochester's Sister Cities

For more complete information about each of these cities, click on a city to start exploring. 

Friendship Committees

Rochester's sister cities relationships are developed and maintained by community volunteers. Friendship Committees are established to explore connections with new cities, to develop programs of activities that can be the basis for long-term, mutually beneficial relationships, and to consider whether the ISCOR Board of Trustees should recommend that the Rochester City Council adopt a new sister city relationship.           

International Sister Cities of Rochester Annual Reports

Related Organizations

Association for Teen-Age Diplomats. The Association for Teen-Age Diplomats coordinates international high school student exchanges with eight of Rochester's sister cities, plus two cities in Peru—Arequipa and Iquitos. Programs include summer, semester, and year-long exchanges.

Rochester Global Connections. This organization sponsors programs and activities each year that provide opportunities for the 2,500 international students in the Rochester area to participate in American life, and brings international specialists to Rochester to learn about our community institutions.

United Nations Association of Rochester. The United Nations Association of Rochester is dedicated to strengthening the United Nations system and the role of the United States in that system, and to promoting multilateral efforts to advance the goals of the United Nations Charter.

Sister Cities International.  Sister Cities International is the nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that helps create and strengthen partnerships between U.S. and international communities. Its website includes a member directory, a list of cities seeking cities, and guidelines and toolkits for developing and maintaining sister cities relationships.

For more information about ISCOR, call 585-428-7045 or email us at

Visit Rochester

For our international visitors, please explore this information from Visit Rochester, the official tourism promotion agency for Monroe County, to discover all that the Rochester area has to offer.