As we prepare to follow the Tour de France, our recently appointed Ambassador Laurent Bili embarks on a tour across the United States to gauge the pulse of various States, engage with local communities, and delve into current affairs, all within the context of more relaxed and collaborative French-American relations. After New York, Miami and Austin, his visit to the Bay Area celebrates the special ties between France and California and focuses on key topics in the areas of technology, artificial intelligence, sustainability, as well as the promotion of France and the French technology ecosystem.

Inauguration of the new Consulate of France

Inauguration du Consulat de FRance a1 Sân FRancisco par l'Ambassadeur Laurent BiliA highlight of the Ambassador’s first visit to San Francisco was the inauguration of the new premises of the Consulate General of France in San Francisco, now located at 44 Montgomery Street, in the presence of the Mayor of the city, London Breed. The ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate the relationship and cooperation that exist between Paris and San Francisco under the “Sister City” agreement between the two cities. In the cultural sphere, this includes a partnership between the Paris Philharmonic and the SF Symphony, and the organization of “Make Music Day”, San Francisco’s music festival inspired by the “Fête de la Musique” in France. It was also an opportunity to underscore the importance of the French presence in the region, which is the 2nd largest French constituency in the United States after New York, with over 27,000 registered French citizens.

Tech & AI

The San Francisco region is a world leader in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), with 16 of the world’s top 20 AI companies based in the Bay Area, including 11 in San Francisco. The Ambassador took advantage of his visit to highlight the need for regulation of AI, a current topic of discussion between the United States, France, and the European Union, and to meet with Nvidia, a world leader in the manufacturing of semiconductors for artificial intelligence models.

Among the innovations experienced by the Ambassador during his visit to the Bay Area were the self-driving cars that circulate around the city with a very real feel, as well as digital twin applications in infrastructure installations and surgical procedures.

Also in California to promote France as a business destination, the Ambassador spoke of France’s place and image in the technological arena, pointing out that with its 29 unicorns, France has become a “start-up nation” and even Europe’s most attractive country for foreign direct investment (ahead of the UK and Germany). For the Ambassador, having a foot in both countries can represent a major asset for companies.

Another example of the vitality of the French technology ecosystem in the United States will be the inauguration by the French Ambassador of the new French Tech office in San Diego.

French For All

To promote the French language in the United States, the Ambassador’s program will draw heavily on “French for all“, the new initiative to support French language teaching in the United States launched by French President Emmanuel Macron during his state visit in December 2022. 

This initiative boosts the teaching of French from kindergarten through higher education and for all types of student populations, including the most disadvantaged, and in particular enables public schools to develop French-language bilingual programs thanks to funds to train teachers, purchase teaching resources or recruit language assistants. The French-American Charter School in Santa Rosa is an excellent example of a successful French-language bilingual program (the only public school in California accredited by the Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Etranger), and its co-founder Najine Shariat was awarded the Palmes Académiques by the Ambassador for her outstanding contribution to the teaching of French.

One of the priorities will be to identify new bilingual education projects and allocate the necessary resources, particularly teachers.

French-American relations

Noting that France is a historic ally of the United States, the Ambassador intends to strengthen the ties and cooperation that exist between the two countries, already reinforced during the State Visit of the President of the French Republic last December, in a geopolitical context marked by the conflict in Ukraine.

He also intends to follow up on the joint declaration issued by the President of the French Republic and the President of the United States in December 2022, which includes a strengthening of French-American cooperation in areas such as security, technology, energy and climate.

His visit to the Bay Area also included a stopover at Stanford, where he discussed international relations issues at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and chatted with Condoleezza Rice at the Hoover Institution.


As for the Embassy’s action in the environmental field, the Ambassador mentioned sustainability and the fight against climate change as among the major elements of his roadmap.

French economic players are particularly well positioned in this area, notably in infrastructure upgrades and renewable energies, which present numerous opportunities for French companies, such as EDF Renewables, which he will be meeting in San Diego.

During his stopover in Sacramento, the Ambassador met with California Governor Gavin Newsom, with an agenda focused on the close cooperation between France and California, as well as climate issues and the Paris Summit for a new global financial pact.


Merci Monsieur l’Ambassadeur !


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