June 05, 2023

Annual Gala


On Monday, June 5, 2023, the French-American Foundation welcomed 250 members of the FAF community to our 2023 Gala at the Rainbow Room in New York City. The Annual Gala is the FAF’s largest fundraising event, and the 2023 edition marked the most successful in the Foundation’s 47-year history. The 2023 Gala recognized two phenomenal honorees who have made valuable contributions to the French-American relationship: Dina Powell McCormick (Young Leader 2005) and Yves-André Istel.


  • Dina Powell McCormick (Young Leader 2005)

Dina Powell McCormick is a member of the Management Committee at Goldman Sachs, where she serves as Global Head of Sovereign Institutional Business and as Global Head of Sustainability and Inclusive Growth, overseeing the firm’s commitment to climate transition and inclusive growth. This includes the firm’s One Million Black Women initiative, the largest investment aimed at narrowing opportunity gaps and advancing racial equity for black women.

Earlier in her career she led the firm’s Impact Investing Business, deploying market-based loans and equity to drive sustainable economic development and revitalize under-served communities. During this same period, she was also President of The Goldman Sachs Foundation, developing and overseeing two major initiatives to drive economic growth and opportunity — 10,000 Women and 10,000 Small Businesses — that successfully provided business education and capital to women and small businesses, respectively.

Dina has also served in senior ranks of the United States government across two administrations. Most recently, as the Deputy National Security Advisor and previously as Assistant Secretary of State and as a senior White House advisor to the President.

Dina is the Chair of the Robin Hood Foundation and is a proud board member of Mount Sinai, Lincoln Center, the National Geographic Society, and the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership.

  • Yves-André Istel

Mr. Istel is in his seventh decade in finance/investment banking, and is currently a Senior Adviser to Hanseatic LLC. His career leadership roles include:  Vice Chairman of Rothschild & Co, 1993-2002, Senior Adviser and a member of its Global Advisory Compliance Committee; Chairman International, Wasserstein, Perella International 1988-92; Co-chair First Boston International 1984-88; and Managing Director, Executive Committee and Board Member, Lehman Brothers, 1978-84. In addition, Mr. Istel was for over 30 years a Director, then Deputy Chairman, of Richemont; and for 10 years a Director of Analog Devices.

He has always had wide interests beyond the business world, often with a French American focus. He was Chairman at NYU of both the French Center and the Remarque Institute. He is currently an active Director, and founder, of: the French-American Foundation; Action Against Hunger US, and Libraries without Borders US. He chairs the Fondation Saint John Perse. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Advisers, Innova Health Partners.

Mr. Istel earned a BA in economics from Princeton University where he is a member of the President’s Council. He was awarded “Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur” and “Officier des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Government.


In addition to our esteemed honorees, we also had more than 30 Board members, Young Leader alumni, and Transatlantic Forum members in attendance.

The ceremony opened with warm welcome remarks from Chairman of FAF-US Allan M. Chapin and Chairman of FAF-France, Alain Papiasse. Tory Burch, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Tory Burch LLC, introduced the evening’s first honoree, Dina Powell McCormick, Global Head of Sustainability and Inclusive Growth and Global Head of Sovereign Business, Goldman Sachs. Tory spoke about Dina’s outstanding accomplishments as a global leader and presented her with the FAF’s Young Leader Award in recognition of her enduring commitment to the mission and ideals of the French-American Foundation Young Leaders program.

Raymond J. McGuire, President, Lazard, took the stage to introduce the evening’s second honoree: Yves-André Istel, Co-Founder, French-American Foundation; Senior Adviser, Hanseatic LLC; Formerly, Vice Chairman, Rothschild & Co.; Formerly, Deputy Chair, Richemont. Ray shared touching introductory remarks about Yves-André and the impact that he has made on the business world and on his own personal career trajectory. Ray presented Yves-André with the Extraordinary Contributions to French-American Friendship Award. As a special surprise, Yves-André was treated to a live performance of Édith Piaf’s “Non, je ne regrette rien.”

The evening also celebrated the tremendous lives of two long-time Board members and founding members of the Foundation: Michel David-Weill (1932-2022), and Ambassador James G. Lowenstein(1927-2023). Gaëtan Bruel, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy and Director of Villa Albertine, honored Michel David-Weill with remarks that touched on his extraordinary achievements in business and philanthropy. Constance Jewett Ellis, Former Vice President of the French-American Foundation, honored Ambassador Lowenstein’s storied career and lifelong dedication to transatlantic relations.

During the evening’s festivities, the French-American Foundation also announced a change in leadership. We are proud to share that Edward C. Wallace, the Foundation’s current Vice Chairman will be taking over the role of Chairman of the French-American Foundation—United States as of July 1, 2023. He succeeds Allan M. Chapin, the Foundation’s longest serving Chairman. After fifteen years as Chairman, Allan will become an active Chairman Emeritus of the Foundation. Thank you, Allan and Ed, for your unwavering leadership and dedication.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped to make this year’s Gala a smashing success and recognize our Platinum and Silver level corporate sponsors: BNP Paribas, Lazard, Rothschild & Co., L’Oréal, The Starr Foundation, and Greenberg Traurig.

Click here to learn about past editions of the Annual Gala.