October 6-7, 2011: The Ambassador of France to the United States visits Memphis, TN

The Ambassador of France to the U.S.A., His Excellency Mr. François Delattre, will visit Memphis, TN for the first time since taking office in Washington D.C. last February. Reflecting the importance that France attaches to developing its relations with the American Southeast, the visit will cover political, economic and cultural aspects.

During his visit, Ambassador Delattre will meet with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton to discuss existing cooperation between France and Memphis. In particular, both France and the region of Memphis share a common strong commitment to economic innovation in dynamic sectors such as biotechnologies, aerospace, transportation and logistics. The Ambassador is particularly interested in knowing more about the Mayor’s initiatives in regards to economic development, urban planning, anti-poverty efforts, education and crime prevention.

Ambassador Delattre will also visit the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, host of the retrospective of French artist Jean-Louis Forain’s work since June 26, a real public success with over 20,000 visitors to date. On this occasion, he will meet with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Florence Valdès-Forain, the artist’s great grand daughter, the museum’s board members and supporters, as well as the local art community.

Finally, Ambassador Delattre will meet with Fedex CEO Frederick W. Smith as well as other key leaders of the company and visit the Fedex hub. The air carrier has its European hub at Paris-Roissy Airport. Recently, on April 11, 2011, a letter of intent was signed between Memphis authorities and Paris Airports and region, which aims at creating a favorable environment for thriving international companies to invest in the respective airports’ areas, thus leading to growth and job creation.

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François Delattre was appointed Ambassador of France to the United States in February 2011 after serving as Ambassador of France to Canada (2008-2011), Consul General in New York (2004-2008) and Press and Communication Director at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. (1998-2002). A member of President Jacques Chirac’s foreign policy team (1995-1998), François Delattre was responsible for European and Trans-Atlantic defense and security matters and managing the Bosnian crisis. He also served as Deputy Director of the French Foreign Minister’s Office (2002-2004) and was a member of Foreign Minister Alain Juppé’s cabinet (1993-1995), following two years with the Strategic, Security and Disarmament Department of the French Foreign Ministry (1991-1993).

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