​The Iowa State Fair Photography Salon has teamed up with Iowa Sister States again this year to specifically invite photographers in our sister states to submit photos for consideration in this year’s competition.  If you want a copy of the application guidelines, please let me know.  Submissions are due by June 19, 2016.​

We have two upcoming needs for Home Hosts! 

The first opportunity is July 26-August 2nd. ISS will be hosting a group of 20 High School students from Yamanashi, Japan. The group will take part in scheduled programs during the week day and then nights and weekends will be spent with Host Families. 

The Second opportunity is a long term commitment, preferably 6 months but can host for up to the whole 2 years. ISS has been awarded the chance to host a Japanese Outreach Initiative (JOI) Coordinator! This is a 2 year program where the JOI will work on building capacity between Iowa and Japan. The JOI is a recently retired gentleman that is high civil servant. He is fluent in English and will be given a stipend for a car so that he can travel as needed. The host family will need to provide a bedroom for him to stay in, but mainly open up your hearts and home to him. We hope that the host families will help him to see Iowa as his second home!

If you are interested in either of these hosting opportunities please contact Kassi Wheeler at or 515.725.3163

What's New?

ISS is proud to announce that we will again be giving out the Robert D. Ray Iowa Sister States Service Award. There are 3 different categories for nomination: Cooperating Organization, Home Host of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year. For more information please click the button below.  

Filmmaker Luke Harwath has been working hard on his Iowa-Kosovo Documentary and has a sneak peak into this upcoming film! Luke has done a great job of showcasing Kosovo as an emerging country and how Iowa has had a role in it. Luke plans on premiering the film during Dokufest 2016 in Kosovo. Watch the video below to see the clip! 

There is a lot of work that still needs to be done and we need your help! In order to complete the film we are looking for donations to help this film become a reality. If you would like to donate to this film please contact We need to reach a goal of $48,000 in order for this film to become a reality! Please consider a donation today!  ​​

In July, 2015, Veneto Region, Italy was hit by a surprise and violent tornado. There was one death, many were injured, and the loss of historical property was high. The Reional Government was still dealing with the clean up from the tornado when the Region was hit with heavy rain which caused flash flooding and landslides. Besides injuries and loss of property, there were 3 deaths. The Governor of Veneto Region-Governor Luca Zaia declared a state of emergency in the area where the deaths occurred. The citizens of Iowa are all too familiar with the damage, both physically and mentally, that tornados and flash flooding inflict. Our sister state relationship with Veneto is not only an avenue for exchange in the best of times, but also looked to as a source of strength in challenging times.   

​The funds raised will be sent directly to the Veneto Regional government via ISS. Please click the form below to make a contribution to the Veneto Relief Fund. 


  • Home Hosts Needed!

  • Donate to the Veneto Relief Fund!

  • Now Taking Nominations for Robert D. Ray Iowa Sister States Service Award!

  • Iowa-Kosovo Documentary​

  • Photography Opportunity for our Sister States!

What we do

Iowa Sister States (ISS) manages Iowa's official relationships with its 9 international partners. One of  the roles of ISS is to promote programs between our sister states and Iowa. These are a wide variety of programs, which can includes topics such as economic trade, professional development, agriculture, education, and many more. We host  a wide variety of delegations and groups from our sister states throughout the year. For more ISS and community events click below!

Support us

First and foremost, THANK YOU to the volunteers and financial supporters who have contributed to ISS programs over the years! We could not do what we do without your generous support of our international programs.

How to Donate

Click the form button below for directions on how to send a monetary donation to Iowa Sister States via check

Click the 'Donate' button below to contribute a monetary gift to Iowa Sister States via PayPal:

Who we are

Iowa Sister States is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization based in Des Moines, Iowa. We strive to build sustainable international partnerships that connect Iowans to the world community. Iowa has a powerful history of citizen diplomacy, and our dedicated volunteers and staff are proud to continue this legacy.

"If only people will get together, then so eventually will nations."

-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower