French-American Foundation announces 2017 'Young Leaders'
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The American winners of the annual Young Leaders Program, awarded by the French-American Foundation as a way to strengthen ties between both countries, have been announced.

The goal of the program, foundation executive director Emeline Foster told The Hill, is to “develop a formal-informal network of future leaders in both countries.”

Notable figures between the ages of 30 and 40 who work in business, politics and media are chosen by the previous class of winners, and then spend a week in either France or the United States getting to know each other and discussing pressing political, economic and cultural issues facing both sides of the Atlantic. 


Previous winners include both Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio Trump, Biden court Black business owners in final election sprint The power of incumbency: How Trump is using the Oval Office to win reelection MORE, journalist Gwen Ifill, French presidents Francois Hollande and Emmanuel Macron, former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and former World Bank President Robert Zoellick. 

Foster said that most of the winners keep in touch, despite the distance, and a thriving alumni network helps younger winners get in touch with previous recipients. 

The French-American Foundation is a non-governmental organization, founded in 1976 by former President Gerald Ford, former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. 

“The French-American Foundation-U.S. works to enrich a trans-Atlantic relationship that is essential in today’s world,” according to a press release last week. “With its sister group, 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 French winners for 2017 will be announced on Thursday. The list of this year’s American winners is as follows:

Penny Abeywardena, commissioner of international affairs for the city of New York
James Brooks, founder and CEO of GlassView
Nicolas Bernadi, partner and COO of La Boulangerie
Frank Demaille, CEO of Engie USA
Maya Kalieva, senior vice president, PIMCO Investments
Jason El Koubi, president and CEO of One Acadiana
Kathryn Finney, founder and managing director of Digital Undivided
Olivier Kamanda, presidential innovation fellow and director at
Anne-Claire Legendre, consul general of France in New York
Adrien Treuille, assistant professor, Carnegie Mellon University
Michael Morales, White House fellow and senior adviser to the Small Business Administration