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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

About Us

The Office of Global Intergovernmental Affairs, led by Acting Special Representative Mary Pensabene, serves as a bridge between U.S. state and local elected leaders and their subnational counterparts abroad. ActingSpecial Representative Pensabene fosters diplomacy by conducting outreach to domestic and foreign subnational leaders, participating in domestic and international conferences to engage state and local officials, and coordinating peer-to-peer opportunities for subnational dialogue. The Office promotes local capacity-building investment programs to enhance the country-led processes; facilitates the needs and goals of intergovernmental officials here and abroad consistent with Department of State priorities; and amplifies targeted capacity-building programs utilizing the technical expertise of our state and local officials in the United States.

The Office of Global Intergovernmental Affairs also assists the work of the Department of State’s regional bureaus, specifically East Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere, on their engagement with subnational and U.S. state and local leaders.

In addition, our office serves as the lead within the Department of State on Tribal Consultations regarding the U.S. Government review of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

The mission of the office is to:


  • Strengthen the partnership between U.S. state and local elected leaders and the Department of State;
  • Assist the Department of State in its state and local outreach to the U.S. and subnational leaders; and
  • Support capacity-building through collaboration with U.S. state and local and subnational leaders;


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