SHAHRZAD 'SHERRY' DOWLATSHAHI
Chief Diplomacy and Protocol Officer
Shahrzad 'Sherry' Dowlatshahi, Chief Diplomacy and Protocol Officer
Ms. Dowlatshahi is Chief Diplomacy & Protocol Officer heading the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office, a division of the Economic Development Department. She advises, assists and supports San Antonio elected officials and executives on matters of international affairs, public diplomacy and diplomatic procedure and protocol; is responsible for coordinating official foreign travel of Mayor and Council as well as planning the program of visits for high-level foreign dignitaries, consular & diplomatic corps members working closely with Mayor and City Council. Another important part of her work is public engagement with local community business, cultural, civic and higher education, diaspora and ethnic groups. She works citywide with other City of San Antonio departments on to provide support on relevant initiatives or projects. She manages the San Antonio Sister Cities Program and works closely with Sister Cities International as well as community stakeholders on fostering and maintaining San Antonio’s official relationships.
Ms Dowlatshahi currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio, as Vice President of the San Antonio Mexico Friendship Council, and as a board member of the San Antonio Council for International Visitors. Additionally, she serves on the advisory boards of Musical Bridges Around the World and the local chapter of the Mexican Entrepreneurs Association, AEM San Antonio.
She completed her undergraduate and graduate education in the UK at the University of Westminster in London and the University of Cambridge. She also studied at the Alexandria University, Egypt and the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.
With over twenty five years of experience in the area of international education and cultural relations, as well as information and educational technology she has held diverse roles at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City and in San Antonio as well as at Greengates School, a renowned IB international British school in Mexico City.
She is enthusiastic about raising San Antonio’s global profile and cultural fluency of its residents bringing awareness to opportunities for mutual enrichment. A strong believer in the power of communication, she advocates clear and transparent dialogue amongst all parties as well as proactive hands on engagement to ensure successful outcomes.
International Relations Manager
Martha Henry, International Relations Manager
A native of San Antonio, Martha Henry spent many years studying and working abroad, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, before settling in her current position at the City of San Antonio's International Relations Office. As an International Relations Manager, Ms. Henry focuses on coordinating official visits to San Antonio, facilitating relationships with local international organizations, and conducting research pertaining to the city’s international interests.
Ms. Henry has been involved extensively in cultural and educational exchange, and has worked with high school and college students and adult learners. She holds a Master’s degree in International Education and Exchange Management from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont and received a Fulbright fellowship to study higher education in the European Union.
Ms. Henry is also active in the local community and very engaged in the restoration of the San Antonio River, one of the largest urban ecosystem restoration projects in the nation. She is particularly intrigued by the international attention generated by this and other innovative San Antonio projects and by the exchange of best practices with visiting foreign delegations.
Senior International Relations Specialist
Ian Cruz, Senior International Relations Specialist
Ian Cruz joined the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office in 2016. A former military dependent, his family relocated to a variety of locations – both domestically and abroad. After graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a B.A. in Communication, Mr. Cruz was accepted to the prestigious JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program where he spent three years teaching English in Kumamoto prefecture in southern Japan.
Upon his return to the U.S., Mr. Cruz became an active member of the Japan-America Society of San Antonio (JASSA) and worked to promote awareness of Japanese culture in San Antonio.
Mr. Cruz is passionate about learning about other cultures - particularly through interacting firsthand with those who share different backgrounds than himself. Along with informing others about just how international San Antonio is, Mr. Cruz also enjoys volunteering in his local community, playing sports and writing.
International Relations Specialist
Rocío Guenther, International Relations Specialist
Ms. Rocío Guenther joined the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office in 2018. Ms. Guenther grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico and bridges two countries, two cultures, and two languages. After graduating from Trinity University with a B.A. in English and a minor in Political Science, Ms. Guenther joined the Rivard Report as Editorial Assistant and Reporter, where she wrote more than 300 articles on topics including the Latino population, U.S.-Mexico relations, immigration, international trade, city planning and economic development, and overall local politics. Previously, she interned with the Office of U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro and wrote about local food trends for Edible San Antonio Magazine.
During her free time, Ms. Guenther serves as a volunteer Spanish translator for National Geographic’s Out of Eden Walk, a slow journalism project spearheaded by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Paul Salopek. She is an Advisory Council member for the Abraham Lincoln and Mexico Project, an educational initiative that has received support from the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC and aims to inform educators, students, and the general public about historical relationships between the U.S. and Mexico. In December of 2018, Ms. Guenther graduated from the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Alexander Briseño Leadership Development Program (ABLDP), a seven month program that enriches leadership and professional development. She currently serves on the Hemisfair Coalition Board, which aims to raise awareness and provide support to the Hemisfair Conservancy as well as connect young professionals to Hemisfair Park.
Sr. Administrative Assistant
Emily Cleghorn, Sr. Administrative Assistant
Ms. Cleghorn is the Senior Administrative Assistant for the International Relations Office of the City of San Antonio. Growing up both as a military dependent and the daughter of a travel reporter, Ms. Cleghorn had the opportunity to visit and live in many places both domestically and abroad before settling in Texas to attend college. Ms. Cleghorn graduated cum laude from Schreiner University with a B.A. in English, and has over a decade of experience in administrative roles.
Prior to joining the City of San Antonio, she worked at Southwest Research Institute supporting research staff, served as the department secretary of Northside Independent School District’s Adult Education and Literacy program which oversees English as a second language and citizenship classes, and acted as the senior administrative assistant of the office of the Vice President for Business Affairs at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
During her free time, Ms. Cleghorn enjoys reading, painting, and writing, and is passionate about combining charity work with the arts.
Director Casa Mexico City
Jill Metcalfe, Director Casa Mexico City
Since 1999, Ms. Metcalfe has been the international business representation for the City of San Antonio in Central and Southeast Mexico, including Mexico City, where 80% of corporate business headquarters are located.
Ms. Metcalfe organizes trade missions for San Antonio businesses and sends Mexican businesses to San Antonio for trade, investment, exchange and development. Ms. Metcalfe is a fully bicultural American/Mexican with complete fluency in Spanish and offers her business experience based on her nine years as a Financial Advisor in Mexico, a former small business owner, President of the Board of Directors of the Association of U.S. State Offices in Mexico (ASOM), Vice President of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Mexico and Member of the Board of Advisors of Mexec.
Her acumen allows her to share her insight of the Mexican business arena to ensure San Antonio entrepreneurs have the information they need to obtain the results they seek.