Secret Service agents descended on downtown Wednesday as former President Bill Clinton visited the Alamo City to speak during a ceremony honoring former mayor Henry Cisneros at the Marriott River Center hotel.
The first Hispanic mayor of a major U.S. city, who served from 1981-1989, Cisneros was given the international Citizen of the Year award presented by the World Affairs Council of San Antonio.
The mission of the not-for-profit organization is to educate the community on world affairs and foreign policies.
Cisneros believes the award is more a reflection of San Antonio as a city rather than solely his work in public service.
"To me it's affirmation that San Antonio is a city that works in relation to the world," Cisneros said. "And the World Affairs Council is kind of what keeps our eye on that ball."
Clinton delivered the keynote speech at the International Citizen Dinner.
Cisneros served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration.
"If it had not been for Henry Cisneros' brilliant leadership at HUD we wouldn't have reached two-thirds of our citizens being homeowners for the first time," said Clinton during his address.
"He's more than a friend or a person I worked for," Cisneros said of the former president. "He's like a brother."
More than 900 people attended the dinner, the proceeds of which benefitted the World Affairs Council.
In accepting the honor, Cisneros emphasized the Alamo City's growing global connections through things like the Toyota plant, Eagle Ford shale production and NSA.
"In so many ways, we're tied to the rest of the world and it's only going to get more intense," Cisneros said. "And the truth of the matter is, cities that want to succeed must relate to the world."