“Honored to have presented my credentials to @POTUS during a ceremony at the White House today. Happy to officially start my mission!” So stated new French Ambassador Philippe Étienne, who began his job on June 8 at the Embassy of France — La Maison Française — at 4101 Reservoir Road NW, adjacent to Georgetown.
Étienne, who took up his position earlier than planned, was here in time to view the Fourth of July fireworks from the State Department’s Truman Building. He has made the rounds of the monuments and places that show the close relationship of America and France, not only in D.C., but in Alexandria, Virginia, and Annapolis, Maryland.
On Independence Day, Étienne tweeted: “Happy 4th of July to our American friends! As the French President Emmanuel Macron reminded the U.S. Congress last year: ‘Our two nations are grounded in the same ideals of the American and French Revolutions.’”
According to his official biography, Étienne previously held numerous posts within the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, notably: Ambassador of France to Romania, from 2002 to 2005; Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, from 2007 to 2009; Permanent Representative of France to the European Union, from 2009 to 2014; Ambassador of France to Germany, from 2014 to 2017; and, most recently, Diplomatic Adviser to the President, from 2017 to 2019.
Étienne is an expert on the European Union and continental Europe. He has held posts in Moscow, Belgrade, Bucharest, Bonn, Berlin and Brussels. He has also served as an adviser in the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs on several occasions. He holds degrees in mathematics and economics and, in addition to his native tongue, speaks English, German, Spanish, Russian and Romanian. He is an Officer of the Legion of Honor and a Commander of the National Order of Merit.
Philippe Noël Marie Marc Étienne is a close advisor to Macron, aka Sherpa of the President of France. He succeeds the popular Gérard Araud, who departed in April, making some sharp comments about Donald Trump and dress and manners in Washington.