Greetings from the Commissioner

Greetings from the Commissioner

Commissioner Giving a Speech at the Model UN

Dear Friends,

As a New Yorker and first-generation American, I have the pleasure and great honor to serve as the Commissioner for International Affairs for the most global city in the world.

New York City is home to the largest diplomatic community in the world – 193 Permanent Missions, 114 Consulates and the headquarters of the United Nations.

We are proud to welcome, and provide guidance, to the diplomatic and consular community on City-related issues. Amongst other things, we administer the City of New York/U.S. Department of State Diplomatic and Consular Parking Program, and assist foreign delegations visiting New York City. As an integral part of the Mayor's Office, our team works to foster positive relations and to encourage collaboration between the international community and New York City's agencies.

Cities are growing faster than at any point in history, with over half of the world's population now living in urban areas. This also means that solutions to some of humanity's toughest problems will be found in cities – problems like poverty and income inequality, inadequate housing, discrimination, violence, and environmental degradation.

Under Mayor Bill de Blasio's leadership, New York City is tackling these urban challenges and the Mayor's Office of International Affairs is uniquely positioned to engage the global community as a platform to amplify, share, and learn from policies and best practices from around the world.

I invite you to browse this website to learn more about our Office's work as we endeavor to celebrate New York City's diversity, and showcase the policies and practices we're pursuing to achieve greater equality and opportunity for all.

Sincerely,

Penny Abeywardena
Commissioner