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Past Events


How "Fake News" shaped the US and French elections

The French-American Foundation held a panel discussion on the recent rise of "fake news". The panel took a comparative look at the United States and France, especially in light of France's presidential elections: Is the proliferation of "fake news" in France as significant a problem as it is in America?

2016 U.S. Elections and the Future of the Transatlantic Relationship

The French-American Foundation hosted a luncheon in the afternoon of December 15, 2016. The panel examined the foreign policy implications of this year's US elections. Panelists included Michael Barbaro, New York Times staff writer, and former French-American Foundation Young Leader Richard Fontaine, President of the Center for a New American Security. It was moderated by François Carrel-Billiard, Associate Director of the European Institute of Columbia.

"Rigging" the Vote? Election Security in 2016 and Beyond

On the evening of December 7th, 2016, we discussed the mounting cyber security challenges of national elections, from Wikileaks to technology vulnerabilities. Panelists included Kimberly Marten, the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and a noted expert on Russia and its relations with the West; Damien Leloup, journalist at LeMonde and expert on WikiLeaks; and Susan Greenhalgh, election security expert from Verified Voting.


As challenges related to cyber security emerge as an ever-greater priority in France and the United States, the French-American Foundation, with offices in the United States and France, will organize its third annual forum on Cyber Security and the Law in Washington, D.C. on September 15 and 16.

French Innovators Discussion with Augustin Paluel-Marmont, Co-Founder of Michel et Augustin

Join us on June 9 for our second French Innovators event featuring a discussion with:    

Augustin Paluel-Marmont

co-founder & CEO of Michel et Augustin

French Innovators: Luncheon discussion with Antoine Bello & Jonathan Benhamou

The French-American Foundation is launching a New York-focused series of discussions with successful French entrepreneurs based in the United States from diverse sectors such as technology, telecommunications, finance, biotechnology, arts and culture, and the culinary world. These entrepreneurs will share their stories and explore the challenges and advantages related to the creation or expansion of new business in the United States compared with France, among them: 

Discussion with Ambassador Pierre Vimont

The French-American Foundation Board of Directors hosted a luncheon and discussion with Ambassador Pierre Vimont, who served as Ambassador of France to the United States from 2007 to 2010.

Pierre Vimont is a senior associate at Carnegie Europe. His research focuses on the European Neighborhood Policy, transatlantic relations, and French foreign policy. 

Security in an Era of Open Borders: Implications of the Paris Attacks

Please join the French-American Foundation for a luncheon and panel discussion focused on the implications of the November Paris attacks for national security and immigration in France, the United States, and Europe. 

The U.S. Presidential Elections from a French Perspective

The 2016 presidential campaign is already well under way in the United States. With one year until the election, esteemed journalist and writer Christine Ockrent (1983 Young Leader) will join the French-American Foundation to discuss how the U.S. political system is perceived from France and how French media and the public view the U.S. election process. What do the French think of the United States' costly and ever-lengthening presidential campaigns? How do the French view the current slate of candidates?

Remembering World War I

In 1914, one man’s assassination set off a series of events that would draw forth mounting tensions throughout Europe and the greater world. In a world in which everyday existence had already been revolutionized by the fast emergence of new technology and industry, aging institutions and power structures were the next to go as the world exploded in what would become one of the deadliest conflicts in history.

First Bilingual Education Fair of New York

In New York City’s public school system, dual-language programs are booming. More and more parents understand the benefits of a bilingual education for their children.

Partners and Funders Luncheon

On September 19, the French-American Foundation will host its annual Partners & Funders Luncheon. Generously hosted by the Open Society Foundations, this private event is an opportunity for partners, journalists, and current and prospective sponsors to learn about the Foundation's current and future program and policy work to better understand the impact of our efforts and how your support can help ensure that the Foundation remains relevant and meaningful.

The New Black Elite

In a recent article in M, le magazine du Monde, 2012 Immigration Journalism Award winner Elise Vincent wrote about a group in France that she referred to as the “new black elite,” as the cover of the magazine showed a rising class of young black entrepreneurs in France. While this would seem like a non-event in the United States, talking about race in France remains sensitive, and the very term race makes many Frenchmen uncomfortable.

New Age, New challenges for the Freedom of Information

Board of Directors Luncheon with Christophe Deloire

Board of Directors Breakfast with Alessia Lefébure

Alessia Lefébure, 2014 Partnership of Excellence Gala Honoree and Director of the Alliance Program at Columbia University, discussed the benefits of the Alliance Program, a joint educational network that includes Columbia University and three prestigious French universities - the École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, and Panthéon-Sorbonne University. Founded in 2002, the Alliance Program draws upon the strengths and resources of these top French and American universities to promote innovation and serve as a platform for transatlantic exchange on various global issues.

The Art of Diplomacy: Historical Perspectives and Current Realities

Nearly four centuries ago, François de Callières, a distinguished French diplomat in the court of King Louis XIV, wrote one of the first practical manuals of modern diplomacy, De la manière de négocier avec les souverains. First published and translated into English in 1716 and reedited in 1983 and 1994, de Callières’ book remains among the most notable and definitive works on international diplomacy.

France & the European Elections

As France was set to hold European Union elections on May 25, the French-American Foundation hosted a panel of experts in New York to discuss the key factors contributing to these elections both within France and throughout the European Union. Defined historically by low voter turnout in France, the European Elections present an opportunity for France’s National Front, two months after the far-right party gained control of a record 11 towns in municipal elections in March. Why is the far right continuing to gain momentum, as in a number of fellow nations across Europe?

French Priorities at the United Nations with Gérard Araud

France was one of the founding members of the UN in 1945, and as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, France continues to play an active and vital role in all the diverse mandates and projects of the UN, from peacebuilding and security to human rights to environmental change to economic development and the promotion of health worldwide.

Salon Dinner with Pascal Lamy

On April 30, the French-American Foundation hosted a Private Salon Dinner with Pascal Lamy, former Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), to discuss his new book, Quand la France s'éveillera (“When France Awakens”) (Odile Jacobs 2014). After his departure from eight years leading the World Trade Organization, Lamy returned his attention to his native France to write this latest work, a synthesis of the problems France faces in realizing its potential, something Lamy boasts repeatedly throughout the book and throughout the evenings discussion.

Les Marches de la Liberté with Rokhaya Diallo

The French-American Foundation hosted a screening of Les Marches de la Liberté and reception with director, noted journalist, and activist Rokhaya Diallo. In her latest project, Diallo documents ten young Americans visiting France, the historical nation of human rights, to explore the issues of race and multiculturalism through a transatlantic lens. The film looks at the impact of the civil rights movement in each nation and what legacy those historic steps have left on today's youth.

Salon Dinner with Edmund Phelps

Edmund Phelps, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economics and Director of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University, joined the French-American Foundation to answer a few questions before speaking about his new book, Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change, at a Private Salon Dinner on March 25, 2014. Watch Phelps discuss France, the United States, the historical growth of innovation, and the challenges now facing economies on both sides of the Atlantic below, or read transcripts of his responses at the bottom of this page.

Board of Directors Luncheon with Philip K. Howard

Philip K. Howard, bestselling author of The Death of Common Sense, Life Without Lawyers joined the French-American Foundation following its meeting of the Board of Directors on February 19 Howard, a partner at Covington & Burling LLP and adviser to a number of prominent politicians from both sides of the political landscape, will discuss his forthcoming book, The Rule of Nobody: Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government (W.W. Norton & Co., April 2014). 

Facing the challenges of climate change with Marie-Hélène Aubert

The French-American Foundation welcomed Marie-Hélène Aubert on Wednesday, January 29, who has worked closely with French President François Hollande on environmental issues since his election in 2012. In addition to exploring the possibilities for cooperation between France and the United States in addressing climate and the environment, Ms. Aubert focused specifically on the prospects and stakes of the anticipated Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be hosted in Paris in 2015. 

Year in Review

Friends and new members are invited join the French-American Foundation as we welcome 2014 with a review of how events in 2013 have affected transatlantic relations and how the Foundation has worked to enrich the bonds between our two nations. Hear updates on the Foundation's current and future program and policy work as presented by dignitaries, program participants, and Foundation leadership. This is an opportunity to better understand the impact of our work and how your support as a member can help ensure that the Foundation remains relevant and meaningful.

French-American Luncheon with Gillian Tett

Gillian Tett, Assistant Editor and Markets and Finance Commentator for The Financial Times, joined the French-American Foundation to share her insights on French, European, and American approaches to financial regulation as both sides of the Atlantic look to recover from the economic woes of the past years. 

Admission to French-American Luncheons is $25. To RSVP, click here, or for more information, contact Megan Gleason at [email protected].

Developments in the French & American Wine Markets

The French-American Foundation welcomed several prominent oenophiles and industry experts to a private salon and wine-tasting dinner to discuss current trends and recent developments in the wine industry in both nations.

Foundation Board Member James Finkel - Chairman of the Wine Committee of the University Club, Officer of the Commanderie de Bordeaux, Chevalier du Tastevin - paired select French and American wines from his cellar with this dinner.

Board of Directors Luncheon with Ben Wildavsky

The French-American Foundation welcomed Ben Wildavsky, Director of Higher Education Studies at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, State University of New York, and Policy Professor at the University at Albany. Wildavsky shared his insights on trends in higher education and challenges facing universities on both sides of the Atlantic as the most prestigious universities attract more and more students and academics from across the globe.

How Europe Is Overcoming the Euro Crisis

In partnership with the American Council on Germany and the Council for the United States and Italy, the French-American Foundation welcomed Klaus Regling, Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism, created in 2012 to provide financial assistance to eurozone member nations in financial difficulty. Regling shared his insights on the recovery of the European economy following the European debt crisis and a slew of bailouts to aid faltering governments and banking systems in several nations throughout the eurozone. 

The American Heart with Guy Sorman

Guy Sorman, one of France’s leading public intellectuals, joined the French-American Foundation to discuss his new work, Le Coeur Américain, Eloge du don (The American Heart: In praise of giving), released by Editions Fayard in September 2013. Discussing his work, which looks at the rich philanthropic tradition of the United States, Sorman compared French and American approaches to charitable giving and explore why Americans give in this tradition not as strongly developed in France.

Screening and Reception with Young Leader Kalyanee Mam

The French-American Foundation welcomed Young Leader Kalyanee Mam to New York, where she screened her documentary "A River Changes Course" at the Museum of Modern Art from June 12-17. On the evening of Thursday, June 13, the Foundation invited its members to the MoMA for a screening of the award-winning documentary at 4 PM prior to a reception with the acclaimed director at Shearman & Sterling at 6 PM.  

Toward North-Atlantic Free Trade: A discussion with Paula Stern

In his 2013 State of the Union Address, U.S. President Barack Obama announced his intention to pursue a free-trade agreement with the European Union, rejuvenating previously failed talks and creating much discussion about the potential Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). With economic growth sluggish in the United States and almost nonexistent in Europe, expanded trade opportunities are vital to both sides of the Atlantic. Is a free-trade agreement likely to succeed in the coming years?

French-American Breakfast with Benn Steil

Dr. Benn Steil, Senior Fellow and Director of International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, joined the French-American Foundation to share his recent book, The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order (Princeton University Press, February 2013). 

French-American Salon with David Stockman

The French-American Foundation welcomed David A. Stockman – former U.S. Representative, Director of the Office of Budget and Management, and businessman – for a private dinner to discuss his new book, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, released in April 2013. 

For more information, please contact Patrick Lattin at [email protected].

Same-Sex Marriage in France & the United States

The U.S. Supreme Court heard two cases in March that could lead to landmark decisions redefining marriage and extending federal rights to those already engaged in same-sex marriages as the nation awaits a decision this summer. In France, the National Assembly has approved legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, as President François Hollande follows through on campaign promises leading up to a landslide victory for the Socialist Party. The law now awaits debate and a vote before the Socialist-led Senate.

French-American Dialogue with Alain Minc

Notable French businessman, economic advisor and author Alain Minc joined the French-American Foundation for a private luncheon, entering in conversation with Foundation Board Member Yves-André Istel, Senior Advisor at Rothschild, Inc. The two discussed the French economy, European policy, and the current business climate among a number of pertinent issues facing French society.

The Black Count with Tom Reiss

Bestselling author Tom Reiss will join the French-American Foundation to discuss The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, his recently released portrayal of General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, the mix-raced son of a French nobleman and Haitian slave whose status of military hero during the French Revolutionary Wars was immortalized in the legendary works of his son, Alexandre Dumas.

The Sovereign Citizen with Patrick Weil

Acclaimed French intellectual Patrick Weil will join the French-American Foundation for a luncheon to discuss his forthcoming work, The Sovereign Citizen, which tells a century-old history of immigration, the acquisition of citizenship, and more specifically, the policy of denaturalization that stripped U.S. citizens of their legal status for various historical reasons – from politics to ethnicity.

Diversifying Educational Opportunity in France & The United States

As the U.S. Supreme Court examines the question of affirmative action in university admission with the case of Fisher vs. the University of Texas, the French-American Foundation explores approaches to increasing educational diversity and equality of opportunity in university settings. The recently contested affirmative action is one of numerous practices that have proven a highly controversial approach to expanding the opportunities to minority groups.

France’s economic denial with Sophie Pedder

Sophie Pedder, Paris Bureau Chief of The Economist, joined the French-American Foundation for a luncheon to discuss her new book, Le déni français: Les derniers enfants gâtés de l’Europe (The French Denial: The last spoiled brats in Europe), released in French in September 2012.

Board of Directors Luncheon with Dr. Richard Haass

Following the French-American Foundation's meeting of its Board of Directors on Wednesday, February 20, the French-American Foundation is honored to welcome Dr. Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, for a private, off-the-record luncheon. Dr.

Charles Kolb on Corporate Governance at Confluence Philanthropy Seminar

Charles Kolb, French-American Foundation President, spoke at “Corporate Governance in the Wake of Citizens United,” a plenary seminar organized by Confluence Philanthropy, a non-profit organization devoted to fostering mission-related investing by the philanthropic community. 

Year in Review & the Year Ahead

Friends of the Foundation gathered for a holiday reception to look back at the successes of 2012 and to look forward to the Foundation's activities in the new year.

The support and contributions of our friends and partners are vital to the success of the Foundation's programs. Together we examined French-American relations and discussed the work the Foundation does to promote solution-oriented debate and stronger ties between leaders from both nations.  

Featuring keynote remarks by Bertrand Lortholary, Consul General of France in New York.

Reception with Caroline de Margerie, author, American Lady: The Life of Susan Mary Alsop

Sophie-Caroline de Margerie, French-American Foundation Young Leader, joined the Foundation for a book talk and reception to discuss her work, American Lady: The Life of Susan Mary Alsop, recently translated into English. The biography looks into the life and influence of Alsop, a Washington socialite whose Georgetown dinner parties brought together influential figures - from Winston Churchill to the Kennedys. 

French-American Foundation Luncheon with Jonathan Fenby

Jonathan Fenby, British journalist and Managing Director of the China Team at Trusted Sources, joined the French-American Foundation to discuss his acclaimed biography of General Charles de Gaulle, The General.

As he does in this in-depth biography, Fenby explored the notion of leadership as exemplified by this iconic figure in French history and how this one man came to shape and define modern France.

Waging War on Corruption

Frank Vogl, co-founder of Transparency International, discussed his brand-new book “Waging War on Corruption” and talked about challenges facing France, Europe and the United States and the progress of the anti-corruption movement.


Webinar: France’s shift to the left and the prospects for change

The French-American Foundation welcomed Christopher Dickey, Paris Bureau Chief of Newsweek magazine, for a webinar to discuss the new balance of political power and how the new French government promises to change the political life and policies of France and Europe. Mr. Dickey explored a number of topics, including the economy, France's international policy, and social issues.

Cocktail Event with Paris vs. New York Creator, Vahram Muratyan

Young New York professionals gathered for a cocktail and discussion with Vahram Muratyan, creator of the smash-hit blog and newly published book Paris versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities.  Muratyan, whose work has become a favorite among lovers of Paris and New York, discussed the inspiration behind his playful comparisons of these two iconic cities.  

French-American Scientific Collaboration & Breakfast Discussion with Dr. Jean-Laurent Casanova

Dr. Jean-Laurent Casanova, Professor and head of the St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases at Rockefeller University, joined us to discuss his research on the role of human genetics in determining pediatric infectious diseases.

Dr. Casanova, who serves as co-director of laboratories in both France and the United States, also shared his insights on the opportunities for French-American medical and scientific research and the relationship between the two nations in this arena.

"An Inside View of the 2012 French Presidential Elections"

What's at stake in the 2012 French presidential elections? What are the core issues? What are the challenges for France and its diverse population? Can Sarkozy make the case for a second term? Or will François Hollande be the first Socialist president since 1995? What about the president of the Front National Marine Le Pen?

The Democratic Future of the Arab World

French intellectual Guy Sorman, founder of Editions Sorman, and Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal discussed the prospects for democracy in the Arab world in the wake of the series of Revolutions throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East.

Above: photo of Guy Sorman by Mariusz Kubik.

City Sustainability and Civic Engagement

Eric Garcetti – President of the Los Angeles City Council, 2013 candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, and French-American Foundation Young Leader – spoke to our guests about his work to promote a more sustainable city through initiatives that promote water conservation, green buildings, and responsible development.

The Virtual Currency

Jean-François Serval discussed his book, "La monnaie virtuelle qui nous fait vivre," which explores the role of 'virtual currency' – money created through financial innovation not under the control of any central bank – in the creation of instability that led to the financial crisis.

Human rights in China

French intellectual Guy Sorman and Chinese dissident Yang Jianli tackled the issue of human rights in China, during this breakfast seminar.

The Transatlantic Divide

This public event and reception celebrated the publication of “Transatlantic Divide–the USA Euroland Rift?” by John J. Metzler of St. John's University. Metzler discussed the book, exploring the impact of the US-led invasion of Iraq on US-European relations.

When the World Spoke French

Marc Fumaroli, member of l’Académie Française and renowned scholar of 17ths-century rhetoric, gave a talk on his 2011 work, “When the World Spoke French” (Quand l’Europe parlait français), recently translated to English by French-American Foundation Translation Prize recipient and Pultizer Prize-winning poet Richard Howard.  Michael Shae, Senior Editor at The New York Review of Books, moderated the discussion of Fumaroli’s work, which explored the cultural predominance of the French language throughout Europe and America in the 18th century.

Non-Renewable Energy Consumption and its Risks

Energy and climate expert Jean-Marc Jancovici – consultant, engineer, professor, and author – spoke on carbon production in modern life and its effects on the environment. Jancovici, a French-American Foundation Young Leader in 2002, founded Carbone 4, a leading consulting firm that has worked for half of the principal mulitnationals in Europe and operated in 20 countries, and developed the system of carbon footprint assessment used in France and across Europe. The conference was hosted and co-sponsored by Roche Bobois, environmentally conscious designer of fine furnishings.

French Idealism, American Pragmatism: A Necessary Union

The French-American Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S. hosted a discussion with French author Edouard Valdman. Mr. Valdman presented his book "Idéalisme français, pragmatisme américain: une nécessaire union" ("French Idealism, American Pragmatism: A Necessary Union").

This event was part of the Tuck Speaker Series, an ongoing series that provides a forum for French and American policy-makers, experts, business leaders, and journalists to discuss issues of transatlantic concern.

Removing the Blindfold: How Justice is Served in France and the United States

Criminal defense lawyer Stanley S. Arkin, French political scientist Denis Lacorne and international lawyer Daniel Schimmel shed light on the French and American judicial mechanisms and helped clarify the political and cultural contexts in the two countries.

This event was part of the Tuck Speaker Series, an ongoing series that provides a forum for French and American policy-makers, experts, business leaders, and journalists to discuss issues of transatlantic concern.

Luncheon with French Ambassador François Delattre

The French-American Foundation and the Center for Transatlantic Relations organized a luncheon with His Excellency François Delattre, Ambassador to France in the United States, in order to discuss the relationship and partnership between France and the United States.

The World in 2030: Trends and Challenges

Nicolas Tenzer delivered a talk about the global trends and challenges awaiting the world in the 2030s.

The World in 20 Years: What Role for France?

Moderated by Jean-Luc Marret, Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, this talk by Nicolas Tenzer addressed the role France will take in 2030 and beyond.

Romain Huret: Katrina, 2005

Romain Huret, French historian and specialist on the United States, delivered a talk entitled "Katrina, 2005: the hurricane, the State, and the poor in the United States." The discussion was Part One of Catastrophe, a two-part event series organized in partnership with the Villa Gillet. Click here for Part Two.

This talk was part of the French-American Foundation Breakfast Series, a program of exclusive, invite-only seminars designed to promote understanding and cooperation on issues of common concern for France and the United States.

Virtual Currency: Financial Innovation and the Economy

Jean-Francois Serval, President of Serval & Associés, and Yves-Andre Istel, Senior Advisor at Rothschild Inc., were invited to discuss the book “La monnaie virtuelle qui nous fait vivre” ("Virtual Currency"), a unique synthesis of contemporary monetary issues written by Mr. Serval and Jean-Pascal Tranié.

The Financial Crisis and the Art Market

Bruno Vinciguerra, Executive Vice President and CEO of Sotheby's, delivered a presentation on the impact of the global financial crisis on the international art market, and shared his thoughts on the current state of the art market.

This event was part of the Tuck Speaker Series, an ongoing series that provides a forum for French and American policy-makers, experts, business leaders, and journalists to discuss issues of transatlantic concern.

The Race to Avoid Frying the Planet

Peter Goldmark, former director of the Climate and Air program for Environmental Defense Fund, shared his insights and expertise on global warming and U.S. and European policies during a presentation entitled "The Race to Avoid Frying the Planet”.

This talk was part of the French-American Foundation Breakfast Series, a program of exclusive, invite-only seminars designed to promote understanding and cooperation on issues of common concern for France and the United States.

Annual Gala

The Annual Gala is the principal fundraising event of the French-American Foundation. Each year at the Gala, the Foundation honors individuals whose work has enriched the French-American relationship and advanced the mission of the French-American Foundation.