Ukrainian Ambassador Highlights Need for Western Support

On January 30, the AAPA met for more than an hour with Vadym Omelchenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to France and Monaco, at the embassy in Paris.  During the mostly off-the-record meeting, Omelchenko briefed us on the latest on the battlefield in Ukraine, likening it to the "trench warfare" of World War I  and noting that the bilateral deals Ukraine is now making with Germany, France, Britain and…


AAPA visits France’s unicorn DOCTOLIB

On January 12, the AAPA met with Doctolib founder Stanislas Niox-Chateau at the company headquarters in Levallois. Since founding Doctolib in 2013 at the age of 26, Mr Niox-Chateau has grown the company to 2800 employees that serves upwards of 80 million people in France, Germany and Italy. It is now the number one French unicorn company and has truly revolutionized French healthcare.   Mr…


Repurposing the Paris 2024 Olympic Village

  Dominique Perrault is the architect and urbanist who conceived of the Paris 2024 Olympic Village. On December 12 he gave the AAPA a fascinating presentation on the thinking behind the village, which is meant to become a new, durable neighbourhood of the city following the Games, part of a great number of building works now underway in Seine-St-Denis, the poorest department in mainland…


Jane Goodall has a double in Paris

Jane Goodall, world expert on chimpanzees and militant ecologist, answered questions from AAPA members on December 1 2023 just before her waxwork figure was unveiled at the Musée Grévin.   Goodall realized early on in her long career as an ethologist—she will be 90 next April—that saving chimpanzees and other wildlife was not possible without protecting the environment in which they live.…


Visit to Villa Windsor, Historic Residence of Charles de Gaulle, British Royalty

Villa Windsor in the Bois de Boulogne On November 14, about 20 AAPA members visited the Villa Windsor in the Bois de Boulogne. It's the former home of Charles De Gaulle (from the Liberation until 1947), of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (from 1953 until their respective deaths in their bedrooms here in 1972 and 1986), and finally of the Harrods proprietor Mohamed Al-Fayed. None of these people…


Thierry Marx and the free cooking schools

Thierry Marx, the chef étoilé with a rags-to-riches story who in 2012 founded a network of free cooking schools -- 10 so far -- to boost the disadvantaged into employment and a sense of purpose, met with AAPA members on November 8. The venue was the eastern Paris headquarters of his Cuisine Mode d'Emploi(s), not far from the bohemian Menilmonant district where Marx grew up. In a free-flowing…


Meeting with Le Monde

The AAPA met on October 20th with the CEO and Director of Le Monde newspaper, Louis Dreyfus and Jérôme Fenoglio, at their new headquarters building in Paris. We had a lively discussion about the state of journalism in the world and how Le Monde went from losing €10 million a year 13 years ago, to becoming a profitable, expanding news outlet - all while keeping its editorial independence. 70% of…


AAPA breakfast meeting with Tony Estanguet, Paris Olympic Committee

The Paris Olympic Committee invited the AAPA to a breakfast meeting with Committee President Tony Estanguet at their headquarters on Thursday, October 12, for a briefing on the state of play less than a year before the 2024 summer Olympics.   A slalom canoeist, Estanguet served France’s flagbearer at the Beijing games and is the first French athlete to win three gold medals in three…


Lunch with Air France CEO

The AAPA was invited to lunch and a visit to the flight archives to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Air France at the company’s headquarters at Charles DeGaulle on Sept 29.   We were joined at lunch by Anne Rigail, CEO of Air France, the first woman to hold this executive position. As a veteran of Air France dating back to 1996, Rigail had a lot to share with us about the business of flying.…


The War in Ukraine…18 Months On

  The former Swiss Intelligence officer turned contrarian author spoke to the AAPA on the eve of the English language translation of his latest book, Ukraine Between War and Peace. "The West is a victim of its own narrative" Baud claims, concerning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. But he never answered our questions about what the West got wrong in that narrative concerning…