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All offices within the Office of the Secretary will be closed Monday, January 16, 2017 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Friday, January 20, 2017 for the Inauguration of the President.

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International Affairs

International Community and Embassies

The international community’s embassies and residences are located in several Washington, DC neighborhoods. We are pleased that District residents have excellent relations with the embassies in their particular neighborhoods, but occasionally there can be issues between neighbors or the need to alert embassy staff to construction or other projects being conducted by the District that may impact their operations. The Office of Protocol and International Affairs is responsible for facilitating communications among the US State Department, the diplomatic/international community, neighbors and other government agencies to exchange information, provide assistance, or resolve situations. The office is pleased to offer this service that ranges from helping embassy staff understand parking regulations to alerting diplomats regarding the preparations and precautions during emergencies.

There are also times when members of the community have projects in areas where embassies are located. In these cases, we act as the liaison between the community and the diplomatic missions to inform the embassies and involve them, if appropriate. Many useful projects that benefit both the city and the diplomatic community have thus been facilitated through cooperative efforts.

International and Special Events

The Office of Protocol and International Affairs plans and organizes special events for the Mayor and supports international events and activities within the District of Columbia that are sponsored by other organizations and agencies. Also, the office assists the international community in understanding the District requirements for permits and other issues relating to the execution of Embassy-sponsored events.

International Delegations

The Office of Protocol and International Affairs hosts approximately 300 international visiting delegations per year. These requests usually come from the State Department International Visitor Program, an international organization, the embassy, or an overseas government. The office coordinates with other government agencies, non-governmental organizations and private sector partners to provide informative sessions and best practices for delegates.

Courtesy Visits

As the host city to one of the largest diplomatic communities in the world, the Office of Protocol and International Affairs strives to welcome ambassadors to Washington, DC. Upon their arrival, new ambassadors are sent welcome packets about the city and the District government. New ambassadors are extended a courtesy visit with the Mayor, which serves as an official welcome. The office also offers assistance to them with any appropriate request during their tenure, responds to inquiries and is receptive to suggestions for cooperative ventures and projects.

More Information:

Service Contact: 
Office of the Secretary; Patricia Elwood, Director
Contact Phone: 
(202) 727-6306
Contact Fax: 
(202) 727-3582
Contact TTY: 
Contact Suite #: 
Suite 419
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 9 am to 5:30 pm