U.S. – France Leadership Dialogue Luncheon Roundtable, Paris, France October 28, 2013

On Monday, October 28, 2013, Meridian International Center and the Association France-Amériques, in association with the French-American Foundation, and the French-American Cultural Foundation, convened a working lunch to frame the Paris Forum of the U.S. - France Leadership Dialogue to be held in Paris in 2014. Bringing together public and private-sector leaders from both countries to identify shared economic and social challenges, the U.S. - France Leadership Dialogue lays the groundwork for concrete bilateral initiatives to address such challenges. With the support of both Ambassador François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States, and Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin, United States Ambassador to France and Monaco, the Dialogue has taken a special focus on innovation and the policies and strategies that each country has employed for growth and development in this arena.

M. Alfred Siefer-Gaillardin, President of France-Amériques and Ambassador Jacques Andreani, President, U.S. Section of France-Amériques opened the discussion with welcome remarks followed by brief remarks from Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President & CEO of Meridian International Center and M. Jean Luc Allavena, President, French-American Foundation, France. Ms. Clara Gaymard, President and CEO of GE, France, launched the core of the discussion with special remarks highlighting her observations at GE and elsewhere on the future of innovation, entrepreneurship, and the competitive landscape. Meridian was also honored to include in its delegation Governor James Blanchard, Chairman of the Meridian Board of Trustees, and former Congressman Bart Gordon, Dialogue Program Co-Chair, who shared their valuable insights throughout the discussion.

Hosted at the Association France-Amériques in Paris, this luncheon discussion session brought together 25 French and American cross-sector leaders - including U.S. Embassy officials, representatives of leading multinational companies, and civil society leaders - to contribute to a substantive, off-the-record conversation on the cornerstone topics in the current U.S. - France relationship: innovation and mutual growth; research and development in higher education and private sector; energy; and public-private partnerships. At this intimate, high-level session, the Dialogue partners and participants deliberated on how the public and private sectors in both countries can collaborate and align their policies and strategies to stimulate economic growth, job creation, and transatlantic partnerships.

It was recommended that the Paris session of the Dialogue, slated for 2014, maintain the focus on innovation, but use ʺenergyʺ as an important case study. The U.S. and France have many unique successes and challenges in the energy sector, including timely issues such as nuclear power and shale gas. There are also examples of transatlantic cooperation in this field, and the next Paris session will examine additional cooperative opportunities in policy, civil society, R&D, and corporate partnerships that would strengthen both countries' long-term prospects.

The U.S.-France Leadership Dialogue is made possible with the generous support of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation. Meridian was delighted to welcome Maxmillian Angerholzer III, Senior Advisor and Corporate Secretary, Richard Lounsbery Foundation to Paris with its delegation, and valued his input in framing future sessions of the Dialogue.

Project summary

U.S. – France Leadership Dialogue Luncheon Roundtable, Paris, France October 28, 2013
Number of Attendees: 25
Regions: Europe and Eurasia
Countries: France
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Entrepreneurship, Public Diplomacy
Program Areas: Exchanges, Forums
Partners: Public Sector, Private Sector, Individuals/Donors, Diplomatic Corps