Heather JOERGER   周海删

International Program Manager
Chicago Sister Cities International ,
Division of World Business Chicago


For the past 3 years at Chicago Sister Cities International, I have overseen the international programs for Chicago’s sister cities of Busan, Delhi, Lahore, Osaka, Shanghai and Shenyang. At Fordham University I studied International Political Economy and Business Administration and for two years at Nanjing University and East China Normal University I studied Mandarin intensively. I am passionate about facilitating mutually beneficial collaboration between the United States and China. I am a member of Illinois State Comptroller Geissler Munger’s Asian-American Advisory Board and secretary and treasurer of my condo board. In my free time enjoy travel, spending time with family and attending Chicago Council on Global Affairs events. In 2016 I have begun learning Farsi.

What was your first job, and how did it shape your life?

In my first full time position I was an Account Executive for a Forex company’s Chinese clients. That job taught me to ask many questions, to do more than what’s asked of me, to stay calm and positive in stressful situations and to keep in touch with former colleagues.!

What books are currently on your bedside table?

Hank Paulson’s Dealing with China and Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

When do you feel most free?

When engaged in a lively conversation and when I’m out of my comfort zone, whether that’s 20 meters underwater, undertaking a challenging project, or navigating a new culture and language.


What was the last gift you received?

A gorgeous yellow lily arrangement from a Chicago Sister Cities International committee member
What is an extraordinary place you have recently traveled to?
A year ago I traveled to Indonesia for a scuba certification class on Gili Air, an island with no motor vehicles. Visiting the world of coral forests, reef sharks, green sea turtles and cuttlefish is truly euphoric and awe-inspiring.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

Though I’m from St. Louis and attended university in New York, I came to Chicago after finishing my studies in Nanjing in order to live near my older sister and two younger brothers.