If graduates from Grandes Écoles weave the economy of France, the schools themselves are not well known in the US. Yet, over a thousand alumni from French Grandes Écoles work in the New York area and play an active role in the economic life of New York, either in French organizations located on the east coast or because they hold management positions in large US firms.

Alumni associations, light structures drawing on volunteer participation organized in the US by regional chapters, observed a strong dichotomy between their means and the strong expectations from the Grandes Écoles as well as the numerous young graduates attracted by the US. By the same token, many older graduates had distanced themselves from the representatives of official services. With the objective of capitalizing on cooperation already achieved on an ad-hoc basis, several presidents of associations have proposed to create a coordinating structure between Grandes Écoles. That’s how, early in June 2003, fourteen major alumni associations of French Grandes Écoles united to join their efforts. Others joined the club later.

Without giving up their identity, this joint action leads to quarterly meetings when regional Presidents coordinate their actions in areas such as employment of young alumni, connection with the French association world represented in the US or services offered by French consular or diplomatic services, contacts with US universities or organization of common events, cultural or invitational.

The centralization of these networks will also foster French-American contacts while broadcasting key messages to American decision and business centers where alumni of Grandes Écoles operate.

Since the founding meeting, several concrete initiatives have been launched, including exchange meetings in the framework of Happy Hours (meetings for drinks after work), an action plan for aid to get temporary or permanent employment, an ad-hoc structure to promote exchanges between leaders trained in these Grandes Écoles and their American counterparts and the sponsoring of cultural and sports events.

AAGEF members

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