Role in International Affairs
Throughout the year, the lieutenant governor represents the state of Washington by meeting with visiting foreign officials and various business, educational and cultural delegations. Sometimes there are informal agreements signed at these meetings with the intent of developing stronger ties. The lieutenant governor also attends numerous events throughout the year hosted by organizations that represent the spectrum of diversity that comprises Washington’s population.
In addition, the lieutenant governor has accepted invitations by private trade or business-focused organizations to lead trade, cultural and educational missions overseas. Recent missions have been to Spain, India, Taiwan and China. Outcomes have included signed but informal friendship agreements and the initiation of new opportunities for Washington state businesses. The lieutenant governor has led more than 20 missions since taking office in 1997 with the majority of those to nations along the Pacific Rim.
In addition, the lieutenant governor and his staff work closely with members of the Consular Association of Washington, comprised of dignitaries who formally represent 41 foreign nations in the state of Washington.