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Office for Non Governmental Affairs

Office for Non Governmental Affairs

Published on July 29, 2011

4101 Reservoir Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(1) (202) 944-6000
(1) (202) 944-6268

Advisor for Non Governmental Affairs

Marielle Lethrosne

        The American civil society is a vibrant, thriving actor, whose influence goes well beyond the national borders of the United States. The Office of Non-Governmental Affairs, which is attached to the cultural services of the French Embassy, works closely with other services to foster transatlantic dialogue and effective partnerships between France at large and American NGOs, associations, foundations, think-tanks and local communities. It covers a wide array of issues, ranging from development aid, environmental protection to human rights, and decentralized cooperation.
[...] In every case, at the head of any new undertaking, where in France you would find the government or in England some territorial magnate, in the United States you are sure to find an association
- Alexis de Tocqueville


        The Office reports to the French Government and provides information to the public about what American NGOs, foundations and think tanks are doing in terms of major initiatives, programs, advocacy campaigns, innovative approaches and debates on a wide range of topics, from philanthropy to climate change, aid effectiveness, education programs, HIV, children’s rights and cooperation between local communities. Conversely, it helps inform the American public regarding initiatives taken in France, projects and programs led by NGOs and NGOs platforms, such as Coordination Sud.


        Dialogue is critical in order to avoid misconceptions, understand differences, identify common ground, promote partnerships, and strengthen friendship. The Office supports and helps organize meetings, seminars, conferences between French officials, as well as representatives of French civil society, and major actors of the American civil society. This dialogue covers critical issues such as agriculture and trade, the role of NGOs in international arenas, risk prevention at the local level, and relations between humanitarian NGOs and the military. The Office helps promote French and European views and outlooks, governmental and non-governmental, as diverse, plural and sometime conflicting as they may be.


        Last, but not least, the Office of Non-Governmental Affairs helps build and sustain strategic partnerships between NGOs (e.g. Médecins du Monde and Africare), NGO platforms (such as Interaction and Coordination Sud), French public agencies (e.g. the French Development Agency and the Institute for Research on Development), US Foundations (such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, or Hewlett Foundation ) and local communities (cities and regions).


Launching of a Start-up Fund for non governmental cooperation