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At the close of World War II, international relationships had suffered and the global environment was tense. Responding to this tension, President Dwight Eisenhower proposed his “People-to-People” idea which stressed that developing personal, international relationships between people at all levels of society would rejuvenate global ties, lessening the chance of future world conflicts.

The National League of Cities was formed in the 1950s to put Eisenhower’s ideas into practice. Due to enormous growth and popularity of the mother organization, Sister Cities International (SCI) was established as a separate non-profit group in 1956. Today, SCI works to develops international relationships which promote cultural understanding and stimulate economic development.

In 1984, SCI’s Greenville chapter was formed to pursue Eisenhower’s dream of a peaceful planet. In today’s world, Eisenhower’s words are as crucial as ever. GSCI Past-President Tom Sowden said, “On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, we are called once again to understand others and have them understand us.”

During its first decades, GSCI has worked to connect members of the Greenville community with citizens of its sister cities. Click on one of the cities below to learn more about its unique culture and relationship with the Greenville area.


Leadership Team

President  – Craig Lundgren

Vice President –  

Secretary  – Kristen Buch Warren

Treasurer  – Stephen Shaughnessy

Communications – Lisa Rourk


City Program Directors

Bergamo, Italy – Josie Williams; Tamar Zwerdling; Catherine Hayes; Roger Varin, Sr

Kortrijk, Belgium – Stijn Van de Velde

Tianjin, Free-Trade Zone – Zhigang Tian

Clermont-Ferrand, France – Bill and Monique Glass; Nadia Price; Lisa Rourk


Life Members

Jack Parillo

Roger Varin, Sr.


Board Members

Dianne Clarke-Kudless

Dr. Roy Fluhrer

Myles Golden

Michael Kerski

Yuji Kishimoto

Alan Ladd

Robert Palmer (Youth Diplomacy)

Jack Parillo

Wolf Stromberg

Roger Varin, Sr.

Vivian Wong



Affiliate Members

Whitney Walters – ICU

Jane Cahaly – SC SCI

David Esch – International Taskforce

Julie Horton – City of Greenville

The Children’s Museum