About the Event

French and American experts in various fields such as politics, journalism, history, and economics share their views on the current, political landscapes in both countries and on how the dynamics can shift depending on which presidents are voted into office.

The panelists include moderator Ted Widmer, American historian, writer, and librarian who served as a speechwriter in the later days of the Clinton White House, and panelists Arthur Goldhammer, American Professor at Harvard University and translator of several books from French including Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century and Vincent Pons, French Professor at the Harvard Business School, and author of Porte à porte: Reconquérir la démocratie sur le terrain, about François Hollande’s field campaign for the French 2012 presidential elections.

About the Panelists

Ted Widmer is a former Senior Adviser and speechwriter for President Bill Clinton (1997-2001) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2012-2013). He is also a historian, based at Brown University, where he directed the John Carter Brown Library from 2006 to 2012. He is currently the Director of the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in Washington. He also writes a monthly column called "Hindsight" in the Boston Globe, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and Politico.

Arthur Goldhammer is a writer, scholar, and translator. He is the author of the novel Shooting War as well as the translator of more than 125 French books, including Tocqueville's Democracy in America and Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. He also writes widely on French politics and culture and is a regular columnist for The American Prospect. Goldhammer is a Senior Affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard and the creator of the blog French Politics.

Vincent Pons is an assistant professor of business administration in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit at the Harvard Business School. He studies questions in political economy and development. Professor Pons’s research examines factors that explain people’s failure to register and vote, and how institutions and political campaigns affect these factors. This work led him to write Porte à porte: Reconquérir la démocratie sur le terrain, about François Hollande’s field campaign for the French 2012 presidential elections.

Jérémie Gallon is a nonresident senior fellow for the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council. He specializes in France, the European Union, and transatlantic affairs. Mr. Gallon is political advisor in the European Union Delegation to the United States. He covers UN affairs, multilateral and global governance affairs, migration issues, and international human rights. Prior to joining the European External Action Service, he was a lawyer at Davis Polk & Wardwell. Mr. Gallon worked as legal counsel to the French State on numerous transactions in the defense and energy sectors.

Muriel Rouyer is an Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. A specialist of politics in the European Union, her research focuses on judicial and transnational democracy and mobilizations, constitutionalism, European and French feminism, and French politics. She received her PhD in political studies from Sciences-Po Paris and is the former General Secretary of the Observatoire National de la Parité entre les Femmes et les Hommes (the National Agency on Gender Parity in France) and worked at the European Parliament.

Through the Lens

Through the Lens: A Multilateral Perspective on Today's World is a series of events inviting artists, journalists, and experts in politics, economy and ethics from both sides of the Atlantic to share their analyses and participate in debates about some of today’s most pressing issues. Organized by the French Cultural Center in partnership with local and international partners, the series will take place from September 22nd, 2016 through May 2nd, 2017 in the Center’s historic brownstone. Through the Lens includes panel discussions, art exhibits, a film screening, workshops, and a stage reading on a variety of themes ranging from the upcoming presidential elections in France and the United States, to freedom of speech in the post-Charlie Hebdo era, to protection of journalists’ autonomy and security and some of the XXIst century’s most memorable trials.

Our Sponsors

This program is made possible thanks in part to NATIXIS Global Asset Management, Institut français-Paris, the Mosaïque Cultural Fund and Jean-François and Nathalie Ducrest.

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