October 26, 2016
toOctober 30, 2016

2016 Young Leaders Seminar

Paris, Lille, France - Brussels, Belgium - Invite Only

The 2016 Young Leaders Seminar took place October 26-30 in Paris & Lille, FRANCE and in Brussels, BELGIUM.


2016 Young Leaders

Since 1981, our flagship program has fostered a strong network of transatlantic leaders.  The program takes small groups of carefully selected up-and-coming leaders in government, business, media, military, culture, and civil society and provides them with the opportunity to spend five days discussing issues of common concern and getting to know one another.  Our Young Leaders Program is meant for participants—to engage with one another, to challenge each other’s ideas, to form new friendships.  Each year, we see the “magic” in the connections that are formed.  A testament to these connections are the alumni who decide to join us each year.

The 2016 program included a series of meetings with local government, business and academia leaders.


The exact agenda is described below:

Wednesday, October 26th– Paris

  • Introductory Session – Presentation of the Foundation and individual introductions of the Young Leaders – Mona Bismarck American Center
    – Arnaud de Puyfontaine, President of the French-American Foundation – France /
    – Christophe Labarde, GM  France
    – Allan M. Chapin, President de la French-American Foundation US
    – James G. Lowenstein, Co-founder of the Foundation
  • Meeting at the Foreign Ministry – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development
    With  Justin Vaïsse, Director, Centre d’Analyse et Prévision et de Stratégie (CAPS) (TBC)
  • Welcoming of the Young Leaders – Opening Ceremony- George Marshall Center
    – Arnaud de Puyfontaine, President of the French-American Foundation– France
    – Allan M. Chapin, President of the French-American Foundation US
    Jane D. Hartley, U.S. Ambassador to France


Thursday, October 27th– Lille

  • General Introduction to contextualize the conference  about the history of the region (industrial revolution): emphasis on the regional entrepreneurial tradition – Town Hall
     remarks by two industrialists
    – Jean-Philippe Taverdet, IBM France (role of multinational companies, choice of location of Client Innovation Center)
    – Jean-Bernard Bonduelle, Director of external relations, Groupe Bonduelle
  • Lunch with Audrey LINKENHELD, deputy of the North and assistant to the Mayor in charge of housing policy
    – Dominique PICAULT, assistant to the Mayor in charge of budget and social issues
    – Tim Gollin, Chairman, Arc International
  • Welcome reception at the Regional Council of the Hauts-de-France
    – Arnaud de Puyfontaine, President of the French-American Foundation– France
    – Allan M. Chapin, President of the French-American Foundation US
    – Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts de France region


Friday, October 28th Brussels, Belgium

  • Meeting with Michel Barnier – European Commission
    Presentation on the functioning of European institutions
  • Visit of NATO : New national security challenges (Cybersecurity)
    – Meeting with  General Jean-Paul Paloméros
  • Dinner with Gilles Kepel, political scientist
    And in the presence of Frédéric Minard, Deputy Mayor for culture , City of Roubaix


Saturday, October 29th Lille

  • Visit of Flanders Field American Cemetery 
    – With Maura Sullivan (Young Leaders  2016), Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Department of Defense
  • Closing Ceremony at the Hôtel Hermitage
    – Evening organized with Emmanuel de Boisset (Young Leader 2009 ),
    Karol Beffa (Young Leader 2005), gave a piano recital.
    In the presence of François Decoster, Mayor  of Saint-Omer, Vice-Président of the Hauts de France, in charge of culture


Created in 1981 to foster closer working relationships between French and American leaders in the post-war period, the Young Leaders program counts over 400 alumni including former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former World Bank President Robert Zoellick, and business leader John Thain (CIT Group).
French Young Leaders include President Emmauel Macron, former President of French Republic Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe,  former Minister of Finance Pierre Moscovici, former Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, and business leader Henri de Castries (AXA).

Learn more about the Young Leaders Program