Office of International Relations

The Office of International Relations represents Gov. Inslee, the lieutenant governor and state departments to all foreign countries, international trade organizations, international educational groups and cultural organizations. The office coordinates the governor’s and lieutenant governor's official international activities and the director serves as the chief protocol officer for Washington state. The office also manages sister state relationships.Gov. Inslee at Almond Roca ribbon cutting

Washington trade

Exports and foreign direct investment are vital to Washington state’s economic growth. At least one in three jobs is related directly or indirectly to international trade, making this one of the most globally integrated states in America.

Get more info on trade and foreign investment from the Department of Commerce and its partner resources: Washington’s guide to export.

Trade and study missions

One of Gov. Inslee’s top trade priorities is promoting Washington exports and attracting international Foreign Direct Investments. The governor’s office has led several international trade missions.

Past events include:

In addition to missions led by the governor or lieutenant governor, the Washington departments of Commerce and Agriculture sponsor several trade mission each year to promote Washington exports.

Visiting delegations

The state has received more than 200 visiting trade, education and government delegations from more than 30 countries since 2013. 

Hosting major international events and dignitaries

The Governor’s Office hosts major international events and dignitaries. Major events include:

  • 2019 Official Visit of Premier John Horgan of British Columbia
  • 2018 Hyogo 55th Anniversary of the Sister State Relationship
  • 2018 visit of her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
  • 2018 visit of President Gudni Johannesson of Iceland 
  • 2017 Official Visit of President Michelle Bachelet of Chile
  • 2017 Official Visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada
  • ​2016 Jeollabuk-do, Korea 20th Anniversary of the Sister State Relationship
  • 2015 Official Visit of His Majesty King Harald V of Norway
  • 2015 Official Visit of President Michael Higgins of Ireland
  • 2015 State Visit of President Xi Jinping of China
  • 2014 The Boao Forum for Asia Seattle Conference
  • 2013 Hyogo, Japan 50th Anniversary of the Sister State Relationship

The office has supported the visits of more than 60 ambassadorial and ministerial level guests of the state from more than 20 countries since 2013. The governor's office routinely sponsors or participates in conferences, seminars and promotional events in conjunctions with our international partners.

International leadership 

Gov. Inslee has had important leadership roles in major international conferences 

Partners in promoting international relations

Our state works with several trade and cultural organizations including:

International sister states of Washington state

  • Washington has six formal state relationships:
    • Hyogo, Japan (1963)
    • Sichuan, China (1982)
    • Pangasinan, Philippines (1996)
    • Jalisco, Mexico (1996)
    • Jeollabuk-do, Korea (1996)
    • Andhra-Pradesh, India (2012)
  • Sister mountain of the State of Washington
    • Mount Rainier and Mount Fuji, Japan (1936) 


Each year the Office of International Relations has student internships that support our international programs. Internships are offered in conjunction with the Governor’s Leadership Academy.


Schuyler F. Hoss
​Director of International Relations and Protocol
Offices of the Governor and Lt. Governor
Post Office Box 40002
Olympia, Washington  98504