Continuing a tradition of building a strong French-American network that has spanned more than three decades, the French-American Foundation will convene its 2012 and 2013 classes – a group of more than 40 up-and-coming leaders from diverse professional fields – in Atlanta for its Young Leaders annual meeting from October 16-20.


Each year, the French-American Foundation’s New York and Paris offices select individuals from industry, finance, government, journalism, defense, and culture who promise to lead and influence the two nations. Each selected Young Leader is then invited to participate in two annual meetings – one in France and one in the United States – to meet with local and national leaders, explore communities in both nations, and exchange ideas on social, economic, and political issues most pertinent to each society and to transatlantic relations.


In 2013, the Young Leaders will benefit from the thriving industry, media presence, culture, and global community of the Southern metropolis of Atlanta. The group will meet with leadership at a number of Atlanta-based institutions, such as the Coca-Cola Company; the CNN Center; The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change; The Carter Center; and the global headquarters of Delta Air Lines.


Among the prominent figures who will share their experiences and discuss regional, national, and global issues with the group are Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta; the Honorable Denis Barbet, Consul General of France in Atlanta; the Honorable Anne Cox Chambers, prominent businesswoman and former Ambassador to Belgium; and Dr. Alan Abramovitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University.


Scott Holcomb, State Representative of Georgia’s 81st District, will welcome the group to Atlanta. Holcomb was selected as a Young Leader in 2012 and participated in the previous annual meeting in Paris and then the bustling port city of Le Havre, France, where the group was hosted by Mayor Edouard Philippe, also a Member of Parliament.


When the group is not meeting with social, cultural, and political leaders and discussing the most pressing issues facing the two nations, Young Leaders will have time to catch a little local flavor, visiting the iconic Stone Mountain Park; exploring the city’s new revitalization project – the Atlanta BeltLine; and getting a chance to taste the “mudbags,” meatloaf, and peach cobbler at Mary Mac’s Tea Room.


Charles Kolb, President of the French-American Foundation—United States, will oversee the 2013 annual meeting in Atlanta. “The French-American Foundation—United States is extremely pleased to host this year’s gathering of Young Leaders in Atlanta. We are very much looking forward to experiencing Atlanta’s Southern hospitality and economic dynamism,” Kolb said.


Overseeing the meeting, Kolb will be joined by Dorothée Pineau, President of the French-American Foundation—France, as well as Allan Chapin and Jean-Luc Allavena, Chairmen of the two respective sister organizations.


The week after the Young Leaders annual meeting, the city of Atlanta will celebrate its many connections with France, French institutions, and companies with the fourth annual France-Atlanta, a three-week series of events beginning October 23. To learn more, visit www.france-atlanta.org.


About the French-American Foundation and the Young Leaders program
Founded in 1976 and building on more than two centuries of shared ideals between France and the United States, the French-American Foundation—United States works to enrich a transatlantic relationship that is essential in today’s world. With its sister foundation, the French-American Foundation – France, the Foundation brings together leaders, policymakers, and a wide range of professionals to exchange views and share experiences in areas of mutual concern for mutual benefit.


The Foundation addresses several current policy issues including education; immigration; security and defense; business and the economy; energy and the environment; urban development and renewal; health care; and cultural policy. Programs include its signature Young Leaders program, conferences, high-level professional exchanges, and study tours for leaders in government, business, academia, media, and culture, creating a rich network of people and ideas for action.


Created in 1981 and organized in partnership between sister organizations, the Young Leaders Program has become the flagship program of the French-American Foundation, intended to create a continuous and fruitful French-American network of leaders. Each year, the Foundations bring together small groups of carefully selected up-and-coming leaders in government, business, media, military, culture and the non-profit sector. The annual meetings, alternating between the two nations, provide Young Leaders with the opportunity to spend five days together discussing issues of common concern and, more importantly, getting to know each other.

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