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To perpetuate more than two centuries of shared ideals and friendship; to build lasting, practical working ties; and to advance solutions to problems of shared concern.
Information & updates about the Foundation and its programs
Updates: Young Leaders Seminar

Today marks the start of the 2020 Young Leaders virtual seminar!

French and American Young Leaders gathered on Zoom for initial presentations by Foundation staff and introductory sessions for the classes of 2019 and 2020.

The first event of the program featured Hortense Le Gentil, Author & Executive Leadership Coach, and Hubert Joly, Professor at Harvard Business School and former CEO of Best Buy, to discuss leadership from a transatlantic perspective.

In addition to the morning's warm-up exercises, the two-day conference will feature guest appearances, Young Leader-led discussions on topics from politics and business to medicine and education, and even a virtual wine tasting.

We'd like to give a special thanks to the French-American Foundation - France, our current Young Leaders, and our alumni community for supporting our efforts to adapt the annual summit for a digital platform.

You do not need a Zoom account to join. Registered guests will receive a link to join in the days leading up to the event. You can find the full list of descriptions and recordings of our webinars on our website.
Open to the public

Description: The US development of the French automobile manufacturer Peugeot.
Date: Thursday, October 22 at 1:00 pm EST
Speaker: Larry Dominique, President & CEO of PSA North America
Moderator: Alexandre Marian, Managing Director at AlixPartners
For members only

Description: Maëlle Gavet will discuss her new book, Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It. The event will be moderated by Transatlantic Forum member Virginie Raphael.
Date: Wednesday, October 14 at 6:00 pm EST
Speaker: Maëlle Gavet, French businesswoman, author, and entrepreneur
Moderator: Virginie Raphael, Managing Director at Tusk Strategies/Tusk Ventures

To learn more about the Transatlantic Forum, please contact Emeline Foster at efoster@frenchamerican.org or visit our website.
Interviews with members of our growing community of leaders and experts (Young Leaders, Transatlantic Forum members, Cyber Security experts, Translation Prize winners, Immigration Journalism Fellows, and more)
Chloe Demrovsky
President & CEO
Disaster Recovery Institute International
Young Leader '19

Chloe Demrovsky is the President and CEO of Disaster Recovery Institute International, the oldest and largest nonprofit that helps organizations around the world prepare for and recover from disasters by providing education, accreditation, and thought leadership in business continuity, disaster recovery, cyber resilience and related fields. Founded in 1988, DRI has certified 15,000+ resilience professionals in 100+ countries and at 95 percent of Fortune 100 companies. Click here to read her full bio.

Q. You were a guest speaker at a French-American Foundation webinar in late April about crisis management during Covid-19. With fellow Young Leader Renaud Guidée, you examined the pandemic's impact on public and private infrastructure and potential strategies to mitigate the damage moving forward. What are some of the new challenges you’ve seen since those first few months?

I fear that we will put all of our collective energy into the Covid-19 response and recovery and ignore all other risks. This is the usual pattern after a large crisis in which we then devote all of our energy to fighting the last crisis instead of taking our lessons learned and applying them more flexibly so that they can be used against a wider variety of threats. What we hope is that organizations will take a more holistic, systemic view of risk. Organizations might finally pay proper attention to what were traditionally regarded as tail risks, because they are happening more frequently now—we are seeing hurricanes, fires, pandemics, etc. all the time. This is in part due to climate change but also to globalization.

There are three areas that I am watching right now in particular:

  • Supply chains: We are seeing the reconfiguration of supply chains and in many companies, this is the key driver of resilience. There is some refreshed energy behind localization—a trend that was already occurring—in addition to diversification (i.e. essential goods like pharmaceutical components should not all be manufactured in one or two countries). Some of this is for political reasons, but it is also for practicality and flexibility. Will all this lead to higher costs and less efficiency? Maybe not when you accurately price disaster and climate risk and use technology to build in efficiencies. That said, don’t expect a widespread decoupling from China—it still has capacities that can’t be met elsewhere.
  • Work-from-home: Many white-collar workers are still working remotely with no end in sight. It’s not clear that this will be sustainable, productive, or inspire innovation in the long-term. There are widespread reports of burnout, workplace injury, and increased stress. Notwithstanding, many organizations will be inevitably seduced by the perceived cost savings into making some of these changes permanent. This will have an impact on workplace culture and social mobility and the gains are unlikely to be passed on to the worker. It will also have a huge impact on city centers, companies that are built to serve office workers like restaurants and workers who are cut out of the corporate system.
  • Schools: Until schools can reopen and stay open reliably and on a full schedule, the painful state of affairs that we are in will continue. Once again, this does not affect everyone equally and while organizations are trying to be flexible, there are limits. Who ends up bearing the burden and what are the long-term implications on issues of social justice and gender equality?

Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing of Amy Coney Barrett
"Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett (day 3). (...)"

"Amy Coney Barrett and her Senate interlocutors can’t seem to stop discussing stare decisis, the principle that the Supreme Court should show respect for its own past decisions. Barrett has fielded questions about what she meant when she called some cases super-precedents (Roe v. Wade was noticeably absent from the list). Almost quoting her mentor, Antonin Scalia, she insisted that she had no agenda when it came to abortion (or the Affordable Care Act) and would take the Court’s precedents seriously. (...)"

"It’s a question we’ve asked before with other appellate judges who have been nominated to the Supreme Court — most recently with Justice Brett Kavanaugh — but it’s surprisingly difficult to answer with any precision. On the one hand, we know that Barrett’s appointment would mean a huge rightward shift on the court, as she is far more ideologically conservative than the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But on the other hand, we don’t really know how conservative Barrett would be if she’s confirmed. (...)"

"La magistrate, choisie par Donald Trump pour entrer à la Cour suprême, a juré qu’elle tient sa foi à l’écart de son travail de juge, mais a refusé de livrer son opinion sur une série de sujets brûlants. (...)"