French-American Foundation announces 2018 'Young Leaders'
© Getty

The American winners of the French-American Foundation’s Young Leaders program were announced today, with a group that boasts representatives from city governments, the United Nations, LinkedIn, Simon & Schuster and more.

The Young Leaders program, which turns 37 this year, brings together French and American “up-and-coming leaders” to discuss issues of common concern, according to the Young Leaders program website. 


Emeline Foster, the executive director of the French-American Foundation, said the program is particularly important now with President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE and French President Emmanuel Macron at odds on some issues, in particular trade.

"We are not a political nonprofit per se, but we contribute to a great friendship between France and the United States," Foster said. 

The Young Leaders alumni network consists of more than 525 people, including Macron, former President Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Warning signs flash for Lindsey Graham in South Carolina MORE and former World Bank President Robert Zoellick. 

Foster said the program aims to bring together groups of people from both countries who might not get the chance to normally interact.

"If you have a high-profile surgeon who’s already 39 years old, there’s not that many chances that he’s going to meet with a French astronaut," Foster said. "It has them create connection amongst people they would not meet on an everyday basis."

The 40 Young Leaders from both countries attend two meetings, alternating between France and the United States. Last year, the Young Leaders explored tech and business industries in San Francisco, attending talks by top Silicon Valley investors and visiting the Twitter headquarters.

This year, the Young Leaders meeting will take place in Paris and Toulouse, and the meetings will be held in October.

The French leaders will be announced later this month. 

This year’s American winners include: 

  • Lorrie Fair Allen, Program Director, Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project
  • Joy Bonaguro, Chief Data Officer, City and County of San Francisco
  • Katherine Brown, President and CEO, Global Ties U.S.
  • Megan Carroll, Team Leader, Peacekeeping and Evaluation Section, United Nations
  • Kyle Dropp, Co-Founder and Chief Research Officer, Morning Consult
  • Nicole Isaac, Director of U.S. Public Policy and Government Affairs, LinkedIn
  • Andrew Klaber, Partner, Paulson & Company
  • Roland du Luart, Managing Partner, Head of U.S., LFPI
  • Mitali Nagrecha, Director, National Criminal Justice Debt Initiative, Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Policy Program
  • Simon Tafoya, Senior Director of Policy and Federal Relations, Office of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
  • Karin Tanabe, Novelist, Simon & Schuster