• Allan M. Chapin

    Allan Chapin - French American Foundation Chairman

    Allan Chapin is a Partner of Compass Partners Advisers, LLP, a strategic financial advisory firm based in New York. Mr. Chapin began his career as a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell, where he became a Partner in 1976. He was a resident of their Paris office for several years and served as head of Sullivan & Cromwell’s European operations. He then became a Managing Director of Lazard Frères & Co. LLC. Throughout his career, Mr. Chapin has represented sovereign governments, agencies, investment and merchant banks, insurance companies, a wide array of industrial private sector companies, and many foreign investors, both individuals and corporations.

    Mr. Chapin has served as a Director of the French-American Foundation since 1989, becoming Chairman of the Foundation in 2008. Mr. Chapin is also a Director of Fondation Claude Pompidou and has served as a director of many public and private companies. Mr. Chapin received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his LLB from Yale Law School. He served in the United States Marine Corps.

Vice Chairman

  • Edward C. Wallace

Edward C. Wallace serves as Co-Chairman of the firm’s New York office. Ed has significant experience in law, business, and government. He is a trusted advisor to companies doing business with government. He serves as outside counsel to JCDecaux North America. Prior to entering the private sector as a Vice President at Boston Properties, he served as City Council Member-at-Large (Manhattan) and then Chief of Staff to the New York City Council President. Ed received his J.D. from Fordham School of Law and his A.B. from Columbia College, Columbia                                       University in the City of New York.

Honorary Co-Chairman

  • James G. Lowenstein – Co-founder of the French-American Foundation

    James G. Lowenstein - French American Foundation Vice Chairman

    Began government career at the Marshall Plan in Paris 1952-3. Naval officer Sixth Fleet and Naval War College staff 1952-55. Commissioned Foreign Service Officer 1956 and served successively at the State Department, American Embassies in Colombo and Belgrade, Staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs and Ambassador to Luxembourg.

    Former board member Refugees International, School of Advanced International Studies, the Ukraine Fund (Chairman), various other investment funds, volunteer senior elections adviser to head of OSCE Mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina 1996-7. Chairman, Advisory Council, the American Library in Paris. Member Council on Foreign Relations, IISS, IFRI. Co-founder (with the late Professor Nicholas Wahl) of the French American Foundation in New York and Paris. B.A. Yale.

Honorary Co-Chairman

  • Francois Bujon de L’Estang

Mr. Bujon de l’Estang is a career diplomat who served as diplomatic and defense adviser to former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac (1986-1988) as well as French ambassador to all three North American countries: Mexico (1986), Canada (1989-1991) and the United States (1995-2002). He is Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honor and Commander of the National Order of Merit. He was elevated by the French government to the rank of ambassador of France in 1999. Mr. Bujon de l’Estang also has extensive business experience. He was chairman of Citi France and a member of Citi’s International and European Advisory Boards, then served as senior international advisor of Citi (2003-2012). He served as a senior executive at the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique and as president and CEO of the French nuclear fuel cycle company Cogema Inc. (now merged into Areva) in the United States, and as a director on several French and American corporate boards. He is the founder and president of FBE International Consultants in Paris, a consulting company specialized in international strategies that he created in 1993. Mr. Bujon de l’Estang is a graduate of Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, the Ecole Nationale d’Administration and the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Executive Committee

  • Paul S. Bird

    Paul Bird - French American Foundation Executive Committee

    Paul Bird is a partner at the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and a member of the firm’s Management Committee, having been Co-Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department and led the Mergers & Acquisitions Group for over a decade. Mr. Bird’s practice focuses on advising private equity firms, public companies, boards of directors and special committees, in connection with mergers and acquisitions and other significant corporate matters, including cross-border transactions, leveraged buyouts, spin-offs and takeover defense. He also regularly counsels corporations and their directors on corporate governance and fiduciary duty matters.

  • Gary M. Cole

    Gary Cole - French American Foundation - Executive Committee

    Mr. Gary Cole is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Antares International Partners, Inc., a boutique investment bank with offices in San Francisco and Paris. He has over 30 years of experience in all areas of mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance.

    Prior to founding Antares, Mr. Cole was a Managing Director and a Member of the Management Committee of Peers & Co., an international investment banking boutique. Mr. Cole’s prior professional experience includes BNP Paribas, Merrill Lynch & Co., Becker Paribas and E.F. Hutton & Company.

    Mr. Cole is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the French-American Foundation – United States, a member of the Board of Directors of the French-American Foundation – France, and a member of the Cercle de l’Union Interalliee in Paris. Mr. Cole is also on the Board of Advisors for the Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance and Investment Banking at the Wisconsin School of Business. Mr. Cole is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin School of Business, and the University of Denver Law Center.

  • Denis de Graeve

    Denis de Graeve is the Head of Business Innovation & Growth at Two Sigma, a New York-based investment management firm that follows the principles of technology and innovation to find value in the world’s data.  In that capacity, Mr. de Graeve supports the strategic planning of new business growth, manages the incubation of new business activities, executes on strategic investments, and leads some of the firm’s strategic partnerships.

    Prior to joining the firm, Mr. de Graeve worked in the Financial Institutions Group at Lazard, specializing in financial advisory for global asset managers and insurers. Mr. de Graeve earned a Master’s degree in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Diplôme d’Ingénieur (M.S.) in economics and materials science from the Ecole Polytechnique (France), at which he also served as a Second Lieutenant in the French Air Force.  Mr. de Graeve is a member of the Executive Committee and a Young Leader ’15 of the French-American Foundation.  He is also a Board Member of MAIF Connect (the digital arm of a leading French multi-line insurer) and a senior advisor to BiiG (a French-based digital communication agency).

  • Shannon Fairbanks

    Shannon Fairbanks is the Founder, since 2000, and Managing Director of The Fairbanks Investment Fund (“FIF”), a venture fund which commits capital to Western European companies.  Shannon is currently Chairman of the Board and FIF is the major investor, since 2011, in ProteoNic, a Dutch biotech; Shannon is a Board member and FIF is the major investor, since 2010, in a Paris-based immunotherapy bio-pharma; Shannon is a Board member and FIF is an investor, since 2012, in Routin, a French manufacturer; and Shannon is a Board member, since 2013, in the U.S. company, ERA Group.  Shannon’s non-profit affiliations beyond the French American Foundation, since 2002, include:  The Aspen Music Festival, since 2001, the International Womens Forum, since 1996, and Layalina Productions, a counter messaging Arabic language TV production company founded by her late husband, where she serves as Chairman, since 2013.

  • Yves-André Istel

    Mr. Istel graduated in economics from Princeton University and has had an extensive career in investment banking.
    He is currently Senior Advisor to Rothschild Global Financial Advisory and a member of its Global Financial Advisory Compliance Committee.  He is Consultant to Compagnie Financière Richemont SA. (formerly Deputy Chairman).  He is a member of Tiedemann Wealth Board of Managers, and a member of its Investment Committee.  He is a member of HealthpointCapital Board of Managers.

    Previously, he was Managing Director and a member of the board of Lehman Brothers from 1977 to 1983; Co-Chairman of First Boston International from 1984 to 1988; Chairman of Wasserstein Perella & Co International from 1988 to 1992; and Vice Chairman of Rothschild Inc. from 1993 to 2002.

    In addition, he is Honorary Chairman of:  The European Institute.  He is Chairman of the Fondation Saint-John Perse.  He is also a member of the board of:  French-American Foundation; the Center for French Civilization and Culture, New York University (Chair until 2017); and Action Against Hunger, USA, as well as Chair of its Audit Committee.  He is a member of:  the Council on Foreign Relations; and The Bretton Woods Committee.
    Mr. Istel was awarded the “Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur” and “Officier des Arts et de Lettres”.

  • François Pagès

    Francois is Managing Partner & CEO of Galileo Global Securities, a cross-border investment bank focused on the Private Markets; he is a private investor in several technology related emerging companies in the US, France, China and Japan.
    While in New-York since 1999, his senior management postings with large French International Banks led him to live 12 years in Asia (Tokyo, Singapore & Beijing) after his debut in Europe (Paris & London).
    He graduated from ESSEC (France) with a Master degree and from Inalco (France) with a degree in Mandarin. An avid skier and lover of outdoor (mountaineering, hiking).
    Francois is a dual citizen US & French, happily married with Catherine; they have three grown-ups who are spread between Los Angeles, London and Amsterdam.

  • Douglas M. Price

    A member of the 1974 PLC class and a 1978 graduate of the University of Colorado, Doug Price became president of the FirstBank of Boulder in 1982. Price was promoted to president of FirstBank of Denver in 1988 and retired in 1999 as president of FirstBank of Colorado, the lead bank in the then $4 billion FirstBank Holding Company one of America’s largest employee owned companies.

    In 1995, Price became the co-founder and innovator of what was to become Qualistar Early Learning. That organization created, validated and patented the Quality Ratings Improvement System, the core principles of which have become the foundation of accountability systems for early learning governance in over 40 states.  During the Bush administration in 2006 and 2007, Price worked on the bipartisan Health Care Task Force of the Committee for Economic Development  in Washington, D.C.  Several of the recommendations made by the working group were adopted as part of the Affordable Care Act.

    In 2009, Price became the Chief Executive Officer for Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS), growing income from 9 to 17 million dollars and membership from 43,000 to over 76,000, making RMPBS the largest membership organization in the state of Colorado.  During that tenure he was awarded three Emmys for projects that examined the plight of disadvantaged populations and women in our culture and economy.

    In 2016, Price became the founder, majority shareholder and chairman of CSBO Holdings Inc., the parent company of Citizens State Bank where he also serves on the board. Doug is a fifth generation Coloradan, raised in Colorado and France and is proud to have served on the French-American Foundation Executive Committee in New York City since 2004.

  • Clyde E. Rankin, III

    Clyde E. Rankin III is a partner based in the New York office and a member of Baker McKenzie’s North America Banking, Finance and Major Projects Practice Group. He is also chair of the Global Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Practice. He has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America and a New York Metro Super Lawyer from 2006 to 2016, and was highlighted in Legal 500 US for his work as an adviser to sponsors in project finance and renewable energy. Prior to joining the Firm in 2005, Mr. Rankin served as the ninth chairman of a New York-based law firm.

  • Cynthia Smith

Cynthia is a biopharmaceutical board member and advisor with 20 years of experience leading healthcare companies through complex transformations.  Cynthia is on the board of directors of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Akebia Therapeutics, and Spero Therapeutics.  She has served on the board of the French American Foundation since 2018.

Cynthia was Chief Commercial Officer of ZS Pharma, a biotechnology start-up. She led the company’s transition from R&D to product commercialization and played a key role in its successful IPO and $2.7 billion acquisition by AstraZeneca. Prior to joining ZS Pharma, Cynthia held leadership roles at Affymax, Inc. and Merck & Co. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Cynthia served on the health care policy team of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Cynthia has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Public Policy from the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University, and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • G. Richard Thoman

Richard Thoman is the managing partner of Corporate Perspectives, a New York corporate strategy advisory and investing firm. He is an adjunct professor of international business at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a professor of practice at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He is also a visiting professor and leader in residence at CEIBS, the leading Chinese business school. Dr. Thoman serves on a number of business and educational boards, such as Schneider Electric; the French American Foundation; the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (where he is chairman); Principal’s International Advisory Board, McGill University; the Americas Society; the Council of the Americas; McGill University School of Management; Insead International Council; the Committee for Economic Development; and the Graduate Institute of International Studies. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations.


Honorary Board

François Bujon de l’Estang
James G. Lowenstein
Felix G. Rohatyn


*There is no distinction between the Board Members below. The ones in bold and underlined are those who shared their biographies.

René-Pierre Azria
Paul S. Bird
George Brokaw
Matthieu Bucaille
Allan M. Chapin
Fred Chesnais
Paul B. Clemenceau
Gary M. Cole
Michel David-Weill
Anne Dias
Shannon Fairbanks
Charles Ferguson
Emma Fuerst-Frelinghuysen
James Finkel
Julia Fromholz
Denis de Graeve
Fatima Hadj
Scott Handler
Yves-André Istel
Reuben Jeffery, III
Franck Moison
Christophe Navarre
Clare O’Brien
François Pagès
Douglas Price
Clyde E. Rankin, III
Siddhartha Shukla
Cynthia Smith
Craig R. Stapleton
Michael Tenenbaum
John A. Thain
G. Richard Thoman
David Thoms
Robert C. Treuhold
Edward C. Wallace
Antonio Weiss

Advisory Board (non-voting members)

Jean-Luc Allavena
Bertrand Badré
Adam Gopnik
Joanne Lyman
Leah Pisar
Robin (Pringle) Hickenlooper
Jane D. Hartley
Arnaud de Puyfontaine
Anthony A. Smith
Marie-Monique Steckel
Antoine G. Treuille
Catharine Hamilton

Documents & Financial Statements