French Ambassador Levitte to Speak at Yale Center for International and Area Studies

The French Ambassador to the United States, Jean–David Levitte, will give a free and public talk on “The United States and France in a World Transformed” on Tuesday, March 22 at 2:15 p.m. in Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Avenue.

Levitte assumed his present position in December 2002, capping a distinguished and outstanding career in the French Foreign Service.

Born in 1946 in the south of France, Ambassador Levitte earned a law degree and is a graduate of the highly selective Institute for Political Science in Paris and of the National School of Oriental Languages, where he studied Chinese and Indonesian.

His first postings after passing the Foreign Service exam in 1970 were to Hong Kong and Beijing. In 1974, he joined the staff of the newly elected President Valery Giscard d’Estaing and remained at Elysée Palace until 1981.

Levitte was then assigned to his first position in the United States at the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations in New York.

Upon returning to Paris, Levitte served as deputy assistant secretary in the African Bureau. He was then assigned as deputy chief of staff to the Foreign Minister, a position he held from 1986 to 1988. In 1988, he first attained the title “Ambassador,” serving as the French permanent representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva until 1990. Returning to Paris in 1990, he held senior positions in the French Foreign Ministry.

After the presidential elections in 1995, Levitte became the senior diplomatic advisor to President Jacques Chirac. He served in that position until 2000. President Chirac appointed him as French permanent representative to the United Nations in 2000, his most recent position before the present one. In New York, Ambassador Levitte successfully handled several international negotiations, most notably, resolution 1441 on Iraq.

The talk is sponsored by the Resource Center for the Teaching of French, the Yale Center for International and Area Studies, Programs in International Educational Resources (PIER), and the Connecticut State Department of Education.

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Dorie Baker:, 203-432-1345