President, New York, NY



FIAF's mission is to create and offer innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French and Francophone language and cultures. It seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross-cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. Today, FIAF serves an extensive community of more than 100,000 New Yorkers who share an affinity for French and Francophone cultures, language, and destinations.


Founded at the turn of the 20th century, the French Institute and the Alliance Fran aise de New York operated as two separate organizations the first promoting French arts, the second teaching French. In 1971, they merged to form what has become one of the largest and most respected centers of French-American activities in the United States: the French Institute Alliance Fran aise (FIAF).

For nearly 120 years, FIAF has been the destination for starting, continuing, and perfecting French language skills in a supportive, immersive, and culturally rich setting.

Through an unparalleled range of cultural events including live performances, film screenings, panel discussions, wine tastings, and gallery exhibitions, FIAF invites New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the best of French culture. Since launching its online classes and cultural programs in 2020, FIAF's audience base now extends nationwide. It also offers unique access to French language and culture at its satellite center in Montclair, New Jersey.

Housed in their own beautiful and historic Beaux-Arts building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, FIAF offers versatile, state-of-the-art event and reception spaces including a 400-person auditorium that can accommodate a wide variety of special occasions.

FIAF is a private, American 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization maintaining close ties to France, although it is not an agency of the French government. It has an annual operating budget of approximately $9 million and employs a permanent staff of 34 supplemented by 80 part-time French language teachers, all of whom are champions of the arts and education. FIAF is governed by a diverse Board of Trustees comprised of 35 men and women from various professional backgrounds a mix of French, American, and international profiles.



The President of FIAF will provide the overall leadership, direction, and strategic vision consistent with the mission and purpose of the organization. They will be a dynamic, inspired, and visionary President passionate about France and its culture who will build upon FIAF's longstanding and respected history. The President will act as its chief executive officer, lead fundraiser, and principal face of the organization. In addition to overseeing operations and activities, the President will collaborate with the Board to develop sustainable sources of revenue, represent FIAF's mission and purpose, and serve as a charismatic and effective external spokesperson for the organization. The successful candidate will provide the leadership stature and experience that ensure FIAF will continue to carry out its mission and bring it into an exciting, innovative, and sustainable new era ensuring its enduring legacy.

Working closely with the Board, the President will ensure that FIAF is fiscally and administratively sound and that its finances, staff, programs, and operations are strategically managed with realistic goals and objectives. Importantly, the President will be a constructive and impactful ambassador who can coordinate and collaborate with other Alliance Fran aise chapters in the United States, the Alliance Fran aise Foundation in France, and a wide range of other New York and international partners.


It is expected that the President will:

  • Quickly get to know FIAF its history and culture, purpose and programs, structure and organization finances, and the substantive issues critical to the organization and its future;

  • Forge a productive relationship with the Board of Trustees working with Board leadership to engage existing Trustees and to recruit new (including next-generation) members; creating opportunities for them to share their passions and expertise in support of strategic goals;

  • Inspire, motivate, and lead staff efforts to realize the organization's ambitions; ensure clear communication and accountability within the organization, across departments, and to the Board;

  • Work with the Board and the development team to create, implement, and lead a strategic and tactical plan for expanding and diversifying contributed revenue from all potential sources; importantly, work with Board leadership to identify and approach high-net-worth potential donors in the United States and France, including private foundations, corporate partners, and individuals;

  • With the Board and staff, craft a bold vision and strategic plan aligned with FIAF's mission and ambitions that ensures FIAF's ongoing excellence, impact, growth, financial health, and increased digital footprint and capabilities;

  • Broaden FIAF's initiatives to include expanded topical, relevant programming for which FIAF is uniquely well positioned, doubling down on its priority to be an inclusive and welcoming destination;

  • Build and sustain a network of French, Francophile, and American artists, educators, government officials, business leaders, and celebrities.


The next President will possess the stature and passion for the mission necessary to lead an iconic New York institution and one of the foremost French cultural centers in the world. A track record of success leading a complex, multi-stakeholder organization is a must, while previous experience in one of the programmatic disciplines of FIAF would be ideal. The next President must be a fluent French speaker conversant with French cultural, artistic, and current Franco-American relations.

The President will possess:

Proven Fundraising Ability

  • A strong track record of bold and effective fundraising, and proven ability to operate in the unique New York City philanthropic world, or in another major philanthropic market;

  • Success in attracting significant contributions from sophisticated donors and institutions;

  • An understanding of the full range of funding tools including earned income from the school, exhibitions and programming, foundation support, special events, and patrons' programs.

Strong Leadership Experience

  • A firm decision maker who engages with diplomacy and tact;

  • Demonstrated success in running all or part of a large cultural or educational nonprofit;

  • Ability to build, motivate, retain, and lead an enthusiastic team of people who collaborate to achieve results;

  • Inspire people to perform at a high level;

  • Create an exciting environment that draws star performers;

  • Ability to achieve consensus amongst competing needs;

  • General management including finance, administration, marketing, IT, andmarketing.

Visionary Skill

  • Demonstrated success in formulating and implementing a visionary, inspirational, entrepreneurial strategy for an institution that draws admiration for its innovative and forward-looking programming in arts and culture;

  • Strong understanding of the institution and its history as a base for building a strategy for what it can achieve in the future.

Board-Building Success

  • A keen understanding of how to build a board, generating excitement about mission and deep philanthropic commitment, utilizing personal charisma.

Outstanding Communication Skills

  • A compelling public presence;

  • Articulate and inspiring speaker, marrying clarity of expression with knowledge of the facts;

  • Personal experience with a range of communication skills.

Personal Qualities

  • Integrity, decisiveness, empathy, emotional intelligence, and cultural agility; a quick study and learner;

  • Personal experience in at least one of the pillars of FIAF (French language education or French arts and culture), providing a base to engage with a broad range of constituencies.

French Institute Alliance Fran aiseis an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership, parental status, military status, or any other non-merit factor.

Applications and nominations should be sent to the attention of Jane Donaldson and Susan Meade at FIAF@PhillipsOppenheim.com.