Founded in 1911 as a non-profit organization, the Alliance Française of Greenwich continues to welcome new members and looks forward to strengthening the bridge of French-American culture and friendship for years to come.
The Alliance Française's mission is to encourage and develop knowledge of the French language and French and Francophone cultures, and to foster cultural, intellectual and artistic exchanges between the USA and France and the French-speaking countries. Each Alliance Française is governed locally and is operated as an independent, non-profit, non-political, non-discriminatory organization.
A life-long francophile and Board member since 2005, Renée brings a passion for French language and culture to the Alliance Française of Greenwich. As President of our Alliance with Co-President Gail Covney, Renée is, in addition, responsible for the Cultural Offerings. She is also Chairman of the Executive Board of Focus on French Cinema, our annual festival of films from around the French speaking world that she helped launch in 2005. Renée also serves on the Executive Board of Federation of Alliance Française in the United States that oversees the over 100 chapters in the U.S. She received an M.S. from Georgetown University in French Language and Linguistics and lives in Greenwich, CT with her husband Bill Ketcham and has two children, Elizabeth Amory Ketcham and Saunders Carhart Ketcham.
Gail Covney - Co-President
Gail Covney earned her B.A. in French Language and was a French teacher at the Stanwich School for 20 years. Raised in a household where French was spoken, she has a strong affinity for French language and culture. Gail is Co-President of the Alliance Française of Greenwich, overseeing the Education program. She's been integral to the Focus on French Cinema festival since its 2005 inception. Living in Greenwich, Gail actively contributes to the local francophone community.
Fereshteh Priou - Treasurer
Fereshteh serves as the Treasurer of the Alliance Française of Greenwich. She has also been leading the literary Proust Group since 2007. Fereshteh has an MBA from the George Washington University and holds a CPA. She has experience working for multinational companies and teaching at the University of Connecticut, Stamford Campus. A native of Iran, Fereshteh met her French husband Michel in US and they moved to Paris where she learned French. She has lived with her family in the Greenwich area for the past 35 years.
Or call 203.629.1340
"The Board of the Alliance Française of Greenwich is devoted to our mission and we welcome everyone to join us and celebrate our vibrant cultural and linguistic community."
- Renée Amory Ketcham
Jean-Louis Gerin - honorary board member
James Beard Award-winning Chef Jean-Louis Gerin, born in the French Alps, discovered his passion at Michelin three-star Auberge du Père Bise. Graduating from l’Ecole Hôtelière de Thonon Les Bains, he refined his skills in Grand Classic French tradition. After collaborating with Guy Savoy in Paris, he opened Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1985.
Miguel Garcia Colon, the visionary Director of Byram Shubert Library, seamlessly intertwines his passion for literature with a commitment to fostering community connections. Fluent in French, he extends a warm welcome to the Francophone community, enriching the library's cultural tapestry and creating a truly inclusive space for diverse linguistic expressions.
Catherine Ladnier, a proud alumna of Mills College in Oakland, California, is an enthusiastic World War II historian with a focus on her Creole ancestry. Currently based in her native Los Angeles, she explores the intricacies of history, emphasizing her commitment to her roots and community engagement. Catherine's involvement extends beyond her historical pursuits, reflecting a profound dedication to the rich tapestry of American heritage.
Brid, originally from Ireland, resides in Greenwich, CT, with her French husband and two children. A Sorbonne graduate who lived and worked for many years in Paris, she is deeply passionate about French language and culture. With a background in finance and project management, she's now a full-time, licensed realtor with Compass in Greenwich. She is also an active member of the Greenwich International Ladies Group, Inspiricia and Les Enfants du Mekong.
Harry is a longtime francophile who has visited France many times over close to 50 years, including as a member of the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association. Since retiring from work as a corporate lawyer in 2010 he has enjoyed many activities of the Alliance including the Proust Group, la Table Francaise and Focus on French Cinema; he joined the Board in 2016. A graduate of Carleton College (BA) and the University of Washington (JD), he is the President of Darien Book Aid and a member of the Selection Committee for FFC.
Sylviane Leibowitz Ely
Sylviane was born in Courbevoie, France. She studied in Paris and came to the United States in 1973 after marrying her American husband, with whom she has two sons. She joined the Alliance Française of Greenwich to be with people who share her love for the French language and culture. After being seduced by the cultural activities, she joined as a Board Member in 2009 and leads La Table Française.
Since retiring from her translation and teaching career, Viviane has studied “Livelong learners” and philosophy. She is an organizing member of reading meetings at the Greenwich and Westchester Alliance Françaises as well as a member of the Proust Focus Group. She is passionate about jazz and Argentinian ballet and tango dances that she learned during an internship in Buenos Aires.
Anne Kern - honorary board member
Anne M. Kern is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at Purchase College, State University of New York. She received her Ph.D. in Film Studies and Comparative Literature from Yale University, and has published on European and American cinema, surrealism and psychoanalysis in venues ranging from Cinema Journal to Le Monde. Her recent essay on three early Renoir films appeared in A Companion to Jean Renoir, edited by Alastair Phillips and Ginette Vincendeau (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). In 2014, Dr. Kern was a jury member for the Festival du Film Francophone d’Angoulême.
Teachers and staff
Born in Cannes, Claire grew up immersed in the vibrant Mediterranean culture and lifestyle. She came to America with her family 30 years ago and settled in Greenwich CT in 2017. A graduate of Nice University in English and Italian, she also holds a certificate in Appraisal Studies in Fine Arts from NY University. On a regular basis, she leads Café Crème group conversation and organizes art tours.
Born and raised near Lyon, Nathalie studied French Literature, Latin & Greek and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She lived both in New York and Los Angeles, where she also taught French at the Alliances Françaises of Greenwich and Pasadena and promoted the French culture with a passion for words and people.
Claudine Baker, a native French speaker, possesses extensive teaching expertise across all levels. She finds particular joy in instructing French literature and history, cherishing the opportunity to impart her profound love for all aspects of French culture to her students.
Cécile is a native French speaker who has lived in New Orleans and Los Angeles before coming to Greenwich. She has extensive experience as a French instructor, and has worked with students of all ages and all levels, bringing to her classroom a love of learning and teaching.
Sylvie is a native French speaker. Born and raised in Belgium, she lived in Brussels, Geneva, Hong-Kong and moved to Greenwich in 2012. She volunteered for the Program “Famous Artist “ at the French-American School. She is also part of the team who works for Focus on French Cinéma in Greenwich. Passionate about Art and Tennis, she is enthusiastic and eager to share her love for the French language and culture with her students.
Antoine first came to the U.S. in 2007 for the Alliance, and has kept a regular contact since by teaching classes and helping in the communication department and film festival. He also works as a Sports Correspondent for Le Figaro, Ouest France and L'Humanité, among others.
Chantal is a French native teacher with 35 years of experience. Full of dynamism, patience and flexibility, she pays great attention to her students and their needs.
Beatrice has been a French teacher since 1995. She taught at FIAF in NYC, and then at our Alliance since moving to Westchester county with her family. She grew up in France and Switzerland and loves to go back to her roots.
Elise grew up in France, studied in Paris and taught as a social anthropologist in France, South Korea and the US. She has three daughters who all speak, read, and write French. They go to Brittany every summer. Elise and her family have lived in Riverside, CT since 2015. She is currently studying for the DAEFLE.
Hailing from the Swiss border, Virginie, a University of Besancon graduate in foreign languages and business, embarked on a journey from New York City to Missouri. With a background in the radio industry, she delved into wine studies, earning a Diploma in Wines and Spirits, and later obtained her DAEFLE teaching certification. Currently at the Alliance Francaise of Greenwich, she imparts her passion for French grammar, history, cooking, and wine to students of all levels.
Anne-Marie Hulin, a dedicated French Teacher at the Alliance Française, also specializes in guiding students towards achieving proficiency in French language skills with the DELF diplomas, a certification issued by the French National Ministry of Education to validate French language proficiency. With over a decade of experience in Marketing, Communication, and Corporate Sales in France, her journey led her across London (UK), Bahrain (Middle East), and New York. These diverse experiences have allowed her to teach French internationally, enabling her to passionately share her native language and culture with others.