President: Stephen Smith, Ph.D
An American citizen, former correspondent in Africa for Reuter and Radio France Internationale, journalist at Libération and Le Monde, Stephen Smith is a writer and a professor at Duke University in the African & African American Studies department. He leads the Center for French and Francophone Studies at Duke.
Vice-President: Monique Copeland
A Canadian citizen, Monique Copeland is a sales representative with Stayonline, a private manufacturing company. She covers mainly French-speaking countries such as France, Belgium, Canada in addition to several European countries. She has lived in Raleigh for twenty-five years.
Secretary: Hélène Crié-Wiesner
A French-American citizen, writer, and journalist, Hélène Crié has worked for many years at Libération, a national French news daily, and for the national public radio France Inter. Based in the USA since 2000, she now writes for French media as a freelance.
Treasurer: Claire Gellion
A French American citizen, former project manager for the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development, computer engineer in research center in France, Claire Gellion grew up in Africa and lived in several countries across the world. She moved to Chapel Hill in 2010.
A French citizen, Sandrine Pauwels has lived in North Carolina since 1999. She is a librarian-archivist and worked for Duke University from 2014 to 2016 as the assistant of the Center for French and Francophone Studies.
A French-American citizen, retired teacher from NCSU and musician, Michèle Darrah has chaired the Alliance française for more than twenty years.
An American citizen, former French teacher, gardener and landscaper, Allen Taylor is one of those who founded the Alliance française of Raleigh in 1988.
Edmund Tiryakian, US citizen married to a Savoyarde, is a former lawyer and investment banker who spent his career in Hong Kong, ran marathons around the world, has tracked mountain gorillas in Rwanda and bonobos in Congo. He has now retired to his native North Carolina, living in the unexplored wilds of Hillsborough, where he tends to chickens, bees, cats and dogs in modest attempts to be a gentleman farmer.
Alliance Française's Staff
I was born in the South of France and raised in Paris. I obtained a BA in Literature from University Paris X and a Business degree from INALCO Paris. I went on working as an International Sales Manager in the Medical Device Industry for 15 years, home based in several countries, including Italy, Germany, Israel, the Ivory Coast and the Netherlands. I moved to the US in 2000 to marry my husband Michael. We relocated from California to Raleigh in 2017 with our teen-age son and 3 dogs.
I was born and raised in South Carolina, where I earned a BA in French from Clemson University. During my university studies, I spent a semester at l'Université de Rennes II, Haute-Bretagne. I taught English at the Lycée Allende, l'école Montmorency and l'Ecole Quesnel, all of which are in Hérouville-St. Clair.
After completing this assistantship in Normandy, I earned an MA in French from Middlebury College in Vermont and Paris. In the U.S., I have taught high school and elementary School in Vermont, Massachusetts and North Carolina.
Originally from Paris, I have lived in Cary since 2011. I followed my husband who found a job on site after his Master's degree at NCSU. I have two sons aged 14 and 6. I graduated from ESCGI Business School in Paris and have enjoyed teaching French to non-French speakers for several years.
I grew up in Brittany, France and studied nutrition in Tours as well as accounting in Vannes.
In 1998, I moved to North Carolina with my husband after he got a job offer in Cary. We have three children; all students at N.C.State.
I have been working as an educator for Wake County since 2007.
I am so glad I have the opportunity to share my culture and the French language with others.
I am originally from Luanda in Angola. I am passionate about the French language and literature. I became fluent in French while studying at the Fine Arts Academy in Kinshasa, Congo. Kinshasa is the largest francophone city in the world - before Paris. I went on studying Computer Sciences, and had numerous opportunities to teach languages to French speaking foreign officials in Congo. This passion led me to adopt the French language to write and publish my books.
I am Lebanese, and grew up speaking French and Arabic between Paris, France, and Saida, South Lebanon. Lebanon used to be a French protectorate and remains proudly francophone to this day. I used to spend my Saturdays reading at the Mission Culturelle Française de Saida. In 2006, I graduated the French Faculty of Medicine at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, and in 2008, moved to the US to complete my medical training at Cooper University Hospital in New Jersey, where I met my husband Michael. We have lived and worked in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Florida, and recently moved to Chapel Hill.
Azza Ben Youssef
I grew up in Tunisia and studied French Language and Civilization at the University of Tunis and at the University of Paul Valery in Montpellier. I have wide experience teaching French at college level in Tunisia and France. I moved to the US in 2015 and started teaching at SKEMA, International Business School and at L’ECOLE. I am currently enrolled in the PhD Program in French and Francophone studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
I enjoy sharing my passion for the French language with students of all levels.
I was born and raised in Rouen (Normandy) and later moved to Paris to study literature and theatre. I completed my Master's Degree in Performing Arts Administration at the Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle-Paris. I moved to Durham in 2018 when my husband was offered a position at Duke University. I have been working with theatre and dance institutions as a Production Manager for seven years. I currently assist Culture Mill, a performing arts laboratory in Saxapahaw, NC., and enjoy teaching French to non native speakers.