Protocol Officer, The International Center


Peter is a passionate citizen diplomat and has supported numerous Indiana communities in establishing exchange programs and hosting international delegations. Peter began working with Sister Cities International programs in support of the City of Indianapolis – Office of the Mayor under the administration of Greg Ballard in 2008. By 2010, Peter had assisted the Mayor’s Office of International and Cultural Affairs in establishing and or reengaging Indianapolis’ eight Sister Cities programs and has served on the Indianapolis Sister Cities International Leadership Committee since it was established at that time.

Peter has served on the Indiana Sister Cities International Council since its inception in the Fall of 2018. In this capacity he has worked with fellow council members to strengthen and engage Sister City programs throughout the State. He has also worked tirelessly to facilitate international exchange through his work at The International Center, a non-profit organization that informs, convenes, and connects public, private and civic global objectives in Indiana.

Peter Kirkwood joined The International Center staff as an International Relocation Specialist in 2007, providing relocation and cultural adjustment assistance to families moving to Indianapolis. In 2008, he became the inaugural Protocol Officer for the Office of Protocol at The International Center.

Peter’s duties include advising leaders in both the public and private sectors in receiving international dignitaries, preparing delegations for trips abroad, and supporting the administration of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) at The Center. In 2018, The International Center signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Indiana, whereby Peter supports the Secretary of Commerce on matters of protocol for visits by international visitors and trade missions abroad.

Peter manages The International Center’s workshop series on intercultural communication and co-facilitates intercultural trainings for companies doing business globally as well as for local organizations with or working with diverse ethnic communities. He also has training duties with the Orientation Program for International Employees, as well as the Community Orientation Program for Expatriates helping newly arrived employees and their families transition smoothly from their home country to the United States.

In addition, Peter curates The International Center’s United Nations Flag Collection and provides flag setups for numerous events each year. Events range from private meetings between local government officials and international dignitaries to larger public events like signing ceremonies and international festivals.
Peter has been recognized for his service by community organizations that promote international and cultural exchange, having been named the Volunteer of the Year by the Indianapolis Sister City International Program (2014), the Carmel-Xiangyang (China) Sister City Committee (2015), and the Nationalities Council of Indiana (2018). He serves on committees for the Chinese American Bridge and is the co-chair of the City of Carmel Chinese Mooncake Festival.

Peter is also an alumni advisor to the Department of Modern Languages at Ball State University where he studied Japanese, Anthropology, and Linguistics.
He is a Certified Protocol Professional, receiving his credentials through the International Society of Protocol and Etiquette Professionals and is a member of the Public Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association.

Peter lives in Fishers, Indiana with his wife and two young daughters. As a founding member of the Fishers Running Club and a Road Runners Club of America Certified Adult Running Coach, much of his free time is spent organizing club activities and coaching fellow runners. He regularly runs marathons and ultramarathons and fundraises for the American Heart Association to encourage others to be conscious of the benefits of healthy lifestyle choices.

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