Our Mission & Work

The French-American Foundation is the only organization dedicated solely to sustaining and strengthening the French-American relationship at the highest levels of leadership. The Foundation works to build lasting, practical working ties between France and the United States and to advance solutions to problems of shared concern. Through our work, we seek to perpetuate more than two centuries of shared ideals and friendship to meet the challenges of the 21st century together.

Unique among cross-cultural organizations linking France and the United States, the French-American Foundation’s programs construct a vertical path through diverse groups of constituents. Our programs convene leaders from business, government, the military, media, academia, the not-for-profit and cultural sectors who bring varied professional viewpoints to bear upon topics of common interest. Engagement along this axis creates an innovative intersection of ideas and experience, promoting open minds and productive dialogue.

Since 1976, the French-American Foundation has implemented over 500 programs including conferences, study tours, symposia, meetings, internships and residences, fellowships, lectures and awards. With more than 4,000 participants in areas including education; immigration; cybersecurity and defense; business and the economy; energy and the environment; urban development and renewal; health care; and the role of culture, the French-American Foundation has created a rich network of people and ideas for action.


The Foundation’s programs are designed specifically to achieve a multiplier effect – leverage among leaders. By engaging and activating a broad range of decision makers and opinion shapers in both countries, the Foundation has reached, influenced, and positively impacted many times the number of people as have participated directly in its activities. The Foundation’s emphasis on the coming generation of leaders in both France and the United States, the “threshold” people, ensures that the results of its efforts will be long lasting.  Alumni of our programs include presidents, prime ministers, governors, key government officials and diplomats, military and corporate leaders, industry experts, distinguished academics and teachers, laureates, celebrated authors, artistic luminaries, and groundbreakers and problem solvers from public and private sectors alike – informing the debate and seeking solutions for the benefit of all citizens.


The French-American Foundation was established in 1976 with the goal of strengthening Franco-American relations outside of official diplomatic circles.

The Foundation’s structure – sister organizations in New York and Paris that share a common name, a parallel legal structure, and a common mission, but operate independently – makes it uniquely positioned to collaborate closely and address the specific interests and needs of constituents on both sides of the Atlantic

Read more about the history of the French-American Foundation as recounted by its co-founder Ambassador James G. Lowenstein here.