EST. 2013

"Kosovo is a small country but it also has a lot of riches that were granted to us by God."

– Ibrahim Rugova

About Kosovo

  • Population: 1.86 million

  • Capital: Prishtina (Pristina)

  • Language: Albanian

  • Major Religions: Muslim, Serbian Orthodox, Roman Catholic

  • Area: 187,000

  • Climate: temperate continental 


Kosovo is Iowa’s newest sister states. Former Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, signed the agreement in 2013 with Kosovo’s President Atifete Jahjaga.

The relationship blossomed out of the State Partnership Program established between the Iowa National Guard and the Kosovo Security Force. Adjutant Major General Timothy Orr played a key role in promoting the partnership to sister state status.

Three cities in Kosovo have established sister city relationships with cities in Iowa. The city of Peja entered into a sister city relationship with Johnston, Iowa in 2013. In 2016, Fort Dodge signed a sister city agreement with Gjakova in Kosovo. The City of Vushtrri recently entered into a sister city relationship with Norwalk, Iowa. There are also a few other cities in Iowa that are in the process of becoming sister cities. 

The activity between Iowa and Kosovo is so robust that the Republic of Kosovo opened its first US Consulate in Des Moines in February of 2016.  This was also the first foreign consulate for the State of Iowa. 

Feature Projects

FFA Partnership

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TOKA Youth Camp

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May Trip 2018

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Interested in taking part in one of these projects or helping improve the Iowa - Kosovo connection? Click below to learn how. 

Jun 9 -12, 2018

Kosovo's Minister of Labour and Social Welfare traveled to Iowa to find opportunities for new projects between the two states

Fall 2018

Kosovar police officers visited Johnston, Iowa to learn about their policing policies and to begin a partnership

Mar 24 - Apr 14, 2018 

Kosovo delegation visited Iowa to learn from our transparency in the justice system

May 2018

Iowan delegates traveled to Kosovo to discuss topics such as education, business, sports, and sister states

Jun 25 - Jul 5, 2018

 Eight Kosovo high school students visiting Iowa to attend the 4H conference and visit sister cities

Aug 2018

Johnston and Fort Dodge high school students will attend TOKA International summer camp in Prishtina,Kosovo.

Jul 30 - Aug 10, 2018

Kosovo wrestling team travel to Iowa to participate in the AAU wrestling competition

Recent & Upcoming Delegations

Citizen-to-Citizen Relations

Stone Castle Winery

Stone Castle, a winery in Kosovo, has gained the reputation of the best wine in Kosovo. Now, through our sister state relationship, Iowans will have the opportunity to try Stone Castle wine at their local wine retailers. Many locations carry it such as Wine Styles in Johnston. However, if you cannot find it, ask the store to purchase it through Johnson Brothers Distributor. This is an amazing way to strengthen our relations through small businesses.

Meet the Leadership

Dennis Dietz has been a volunteer for ISS for many years, and he is the founding Chair of the Iowa-Kosovo Sister State relationship. He and his wife Sheila have home-hosted for several visiting international delegations. 


Dennis was the Second Vice President & Counsel at Mutual Benefit Life, Farm Investment Division. He is currently a retired Judge Advocate for the Iowa Army National Guard. 

Map from Medium article by David Sharpe, Jul 21, 2016

Muscatine photo from Muscatine Kosovo Project by Kristin McHugh

DMACC photo from Glassdoor

© 2020, Iowa Sister States

Last Updated: November 18, 2020