​​​Please contact Kim Heidemann to receive any of these press releases in full - or to be added to the media list that will receive future press releases. 


April 12, 2017
Kosovo Signs Agreements with Four Iowa Educational Institutions

ISS and the Consulate of the Republic of Kosovo in Des Moines hosted a delegation featuring Kosovo's Minister of Education, Science, and Technology, Dr. Arsim Bajrami. Minister Bajrami signed MOUs with four Iowa educational institutions.


February 17, 2017
​Third Annual Iowa/Yamanashi Young Professionals Conference Begins Feb. 17

ISS will host a delegation of young professionals from Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. The Iowa/Yamanashi Young Professionals Conference was created to facilitate conversations between young professionals in Iowa and Japan.

​February 14, 2017
Celebration to Honor International Contributions Made by Governor Branstad

Iowa Sister States will host an event on February 16th to honor the support and contributions that Governor Branstad has made to the organization, and to overall international relationship building efforts.


December 19, 2016
Fort Dodge and Gjakova, Kosovo Sign Sister City Agreement

On December 13, Fort Dodge and Gjakova, a city located in Iowa's sister state of Kosovo, signed a sister city agreement. This is the second agreement signed between a city in Iowa and one in Kosovo and will further strengthen the overall sister state relationship.


December 8, 2016
​Statement on Selection of Governor Terry Branstad as U.S. Ambassador to China

Iowa Sister States is thrilled that Governor Terry E. Branstad has been selected as the next U.S. Ambassador to China. We feel that this appointment is a win for citizens both in Iowa and Hebei that have honored, respected, and participated in the relationship for more than 30 years.


October 13, 2016
Yamanashi Prefecture Research Scholarship Available

Iowa Sister States is now accepting applications for the Yamanashi Prefecture Research Scholarship for the academic year of 2016-2017. The Yamanashi Prefecture Research Scholarship is a unique scholarship opportunity, established almost 20 years ago between Iowa Sister States (ISS) and Yamanashi Prefectural University (YPU).​Each year, ISS selects one current college student or recent college graduate from the state of Iowa (up to age 40) to attend classes and complete a research project of his or her choice at YPU, a public university located in Kofu. 


August 19, 2016
Submissions for awards named for former Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray 

In 1983, Governor Branstad signed the Iowa-Hebei Sister State agreement. Since that signing, the Iowa-Hebei relationship has become one of the most active, and visible, sister state relationships. In July of 2016, Iowa’s sister state of Hebei Province suffered severe flooding. Hundreds have been killed with hundreds more missing. The estimate in property loss is in the millions. In response to this devastating loss, Iowa Sister States has opened the Hebei Relief Fund. “It’s just the right thing to do”, says Luca Berrone, Iowa Sister States Board member and Old Friend from the famed 1985 Xi Jinping visit to Iowa. “We view the people of Hebei Province as family. If we can assist in some way, then we have to try. They would do the same.” Berrone said. Donors are encouraged to give $83 in honor of the year that the Iowa-Hebei agreement was signed. The fund will be open until October 1. Details are on the Iowa Sister States website.


July 6, 2016

Iowans to Visit Japan

Kim Heidemann, Executive Director of Iowa Sister States, will travel to Iowa’s sister state of Yamanashi, Japan from July 6 to July 13th. Iowa Sister States will be accompanying Iowa Farm Bureau on their County Presidents Incentive Tour. The group will consist of about 140 Iowans. The group will spend some time in both Tokyo and Yamanashi Prefecture. Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan and the State of Iowa have been sister states for over 50 years.  The relationship began because of the famous Iowa “Hog Lift”.  The sister state relationship is historic because it is the first US-Japan subnational partnership formed after WWII. The Iowa/Yamanashi partnership continues to be one of the most active of Iowa’s sister state relationships.  


April 27, 2016

Submissions for awards named for former Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray 

Iowa Sister States is pleased to announce that it is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Robert D. Ray Iowa Sister State Volunteer Awards. The award given each year recognizes outstanding volunteers and partners by awarding them the Robert D. Ray Service Award in three different categories: Cooperating Organization, Home Host of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year. The Robert D. Ray Iowa Sister States Service Award was named in recognition of the international efforts by former Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray (He served from 1969-1983). Governor Ray served as the first President of the Board of Directors at Iowa Sister States. See ISS Homepage to download Application. 


April 21, 2016

Scholarships Winners Announced for Iowans seeking International Experience

Iowa Sister States is excited to announce the 2016 Jeff Zimpleman Iowa Sister States Scholarship winners. The winners, their schools and the sister state they will study/intern in: Ms. Kara Eischen (Simpson College) Veneto Region, Italy Ms. Lillian Nellans (Western Kentucky University) Kosovo Ms. Alexa Stripe (Simpson College) Veneto Region, Italy Ms. Amanda Anderson (Simpson College) Veneto Region, Italy Ms. Danielle Dawson (Simpson College) Veneto Region, Italy Ms. Kyann Brown (Simpson College) Veneto Region, Italy Ms. Morgan McLaughlin (Simpson College) Veneto Region, Italy Ms. Katherine Shaw (DMACC) Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan The scholarship is named after Iowan Jeff Zimpleman. The Zimpleman family believes that Jeff’s love of exploring new places and his understanding of the importance of nurturing international relationship resonates with the very essence of Iowa Sister States’ organizational vision. The Jeff Zimpleman Scholarship is available on a yearly basis via Iowa Sister States for at least 4 more years. It is expected that 2017 scholarship information will be available by August of 2016.


​April 6, 2016

Young Professionals to Attend Conference in Japan
Iowa Sister States will lead a delegation of young professionals from across the State of Iowa to Iowa’s sister state of Yamanashi Prefecture to attend the 2nd Iowa/Yamanashi Young Professionals Conference.  The conference takes place on from April 7th to 12th.
The delegation will consist of representatives from:  Iowa Sister States; Greater Des Moines Young Professionals Connection; the Des Moines chapter of Junior Chamber International; and Iowa Junior Chamber International.
The Young Professionals Conference will focus on how to retain young professionals and to create an environment that will attract other young professionals. This conference will continue the conversations that began last April during the first Iowa/Yamanashi Young Professionals Conference that was held in Des Moines. The delegation will take part in job shadow experiences and stay with host families. 
Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan and the State of Iowa have been sister states for over 50 years.  The relationship is historic in nature because it was the first to form between the United States and Japan after WWII.  The relationship has its roots in the historic Iowa “Hog Lift”.  It continues to be one of Iowa’s most active sister state relationships.  

The ISS Newsroom

CONNECTING IOWANS TO THE WORLD Community