Shahrzad 'Sherry' Dowlatshahi
Chief Diplomacy and Protocol Officer
Ms. Dowlatshahi is City of San Antonio’s Chief Diplomacy and Protocol Officer. She currently manages all aspects of the International Relations Office under the direct supervision of the Economic Development Department and previously the Intergovernmental Relations Department. She advises, assists and supports San Antonio elected officials and City executives on matters of international affairs and diplomatic procedure; is responsible for providing assistance in international travel as well as planning visits and welcoming high-level foreign dignitaries and diplomats to the City of San Antonio working closely with Mayor and City Council; manages the San Antonio program of official relationships namely Sister and Friendship Cities; manages the Casa San Antonio program in Mexico consisting primarily of trade and business development of San Antonio across Mexico through offices or representations in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara; manages public engagement of the international relations team with local community business, cultural and civic organizations with an interest in international or specific focus on an ethnic group; and works closely with other departments in the City organization to provide support on relevant initiatives or projects.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree in "Modern Languages: Arabic and Spanish", with a specialization in Latin America and the Arab World, from the University of Westminster in London, England. She then obtained a Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge in History with a focus on Latin American Studies specializing in the History of Mexico.
Her extensive experience in international education conveyed global awareness to students in secondary and higher education especially through the use of technology. A “third culture citizen” herself, she has been able to influence a growing generation of youngsters who spend their formative years in foreign countries experiencing multiple cultures and languages due to their parents’ jobs as multinational or diplomatic expatriates. With an understanding of the importance of protocol and relationship management, her direct involvement in cultural diplomacy and international engagement has been a consistent theme throughout her professional career.
She is enthusiastic about raising San Antonio’s global profile and citizen awareness about opportunities for mutual enrichment. A strong believer in the power of communication, she advocates clear and transparent dialogue amongst all parties as the key to for the successful outcome of any program, be it a private or public sector initiative.
International Special Projects 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 Special Projects 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.
International Special Projects Manager
Born and raised in Germany, Mr. Mette earned a dual bachelor’s degree in English/Communication and a graduate degree in journalism, followed by a six months long internship in the public diplomacy section of the German Embassy in Washington, DC, which deepened his appreciation for communications and international affairs.
Mr. Mette has worked in communications and marketing roles for organizations in Europe and the United States, including PUMA, California Sunbounce, and, most recently, the University of Texas at San Antonio.
As an International Special Projects Manager in the City of San Antonio’s International Relations Office, Mr. Mette works with official foreign delegations through event planning, logistical support and official correspondence, and he interacts with local organizations, especially in regards to San Antonio's sister city relationships. Through strategic efforts including web, social media and feature length articles, h e contributes to raising San Antonio’s global profile.
In his free time, Mr. Mette enjoys playing soccer and exploring the ever-evolving urban landscape of San Antonio with his family, friends and rescue dog.
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.
Sr. Administrative Assistant
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.
Casa San Antonio
With degrees in Law and Business Administration, coupled with over twenty five years in the public and private sectors, Ms. Sada brings a unique perspective and wealth of experience including the Municipal Governments of San Pedro and of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon in the Economic and Social Development Department and private business ventures. Alejandra is fully conversant with English and French having studied in New York, England and France.
A community activist, Alejandra has been a member and president of well-known charitable, social and political organizations. She was President of the Desarrollo Integral de la Familia Institution (DIF) in the important suburban city of San Pedro, Nuevo Leon over two three year periods, (this is a national institution headed by the wife of the President of Mexico). Further, Alejandra has been a Member of the Board of Asociacion Gilberto over the past twenty years. She was a member of the State of Nuevo Leon Executive Committee of the national political party Partido de Accion Nacional (PAN) and was a member of the organizing committee for the Mayoral Candidate for San Pedro, Nuevo Leon. Alejandra was a volunteer member of ANSPAC (National Association for the Improvement of the Human Person) for over ten years.