9644_Elaine_U cropped 260x347Elaine Uzan Leary, born Elaine Vivian L’Heureux in Auburn, Maine of a Franco-American family, Elaine’s many accomplishments reflect a true Francophone and Francophile passion. Elaine is a graduate of Stetson University in Deland, Florida; Universite de Strasbourg, France; Middlebury College Graduate School, VT; and Emerson College in Boston. She began her professional career as a French teacher in Connecticut in 1969 then in Massachusetts starting in 1973.

In Boston, Elaine became involved in many French organizations and co-founded the school of the Alliance Francaise of Boston in 1973 and the French Theatre in Boston, Compagnie Bernard Uzan. She also served as trustee for the Boston-Strasbourg Sister City Association, and launched the French-American Chamber of Commerce of New England.

From 1985-1997 Elaine‘s career moved to textbook publishing for Heinle & Heinle Publishers and Houghton-Mifflin Company where as Marketing Manager she received many awards for the successful promotion of French language materials, Foreign Languages, and ESL in both secondary schools and colleges.

Her last position in Boston was as Executive Director of the French Library and Cultural Center/Alliance Francaise of Boston (known as the French Cultural Center) from 2001-2008. In 2003 she created the first Fête de la Francophonie at Boston City Hall bringing together all French-related organizations in New England for the first time. Elaine has created many scholarships for students in Boston public schools, a French afterschool program for Haitian children, and most recently chairs the scholarship committee for the American Society of the French Order of Merit, which supports bilingual education in New York public schools.

In June 2008, she was a member of the New England committee for the 400th anniversary of the founding of the City of Quebec, which proudly presented a monument to Quebec honoring the French Canadians who came to New England. Since summer 2008, Elaine has been the Executive Director of the American Friends of Blerancourt in New York, which supports the Franco-American Museum, Chateau de Blerancourt in Picardy, France. She is responsible for the traveling exhibition “American Women Rebuilding France 1917-1924”, seen by over 110,000 people to date and scheduled to be in 8 other U.S. cities during 2014-2015.

Past French government awards she has earned incude the 2013 Renaissance Francaise Medaille d’Or de la solidarite et de la valuer, 2005 Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite, and the 1988 Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Letters. Elaine currently lives in New York City.

An exhibit entitled “American Women Rebuilding France, 1917-1924″ showcases the extraordinary work undertaken by 350 American Women—all volunteers—who left comfortable lives in the United States to devote themselves to humanitarian aid in France. Barred from voting or serving in active social combat, these women instead directed their considerable energy toward international relief work to counter the devastation of war.

An exhibition of photographs and silent films from the Franco-American Museum in Picardy, France, showcased in the U.S.A. (Chicago, IL, Newberry Library in Chicago, 17 September 2014 to 3 January 2015 Visit: newberry.org; Minneapolis/St Paul, MN, Alliance Française – Minneapolis/St Paul, November 7, 2014 Visit: afmsp.org.)

For information contact: AmericanFriendsofBlerancourt.org /  US.RendezvousenFrance.com/Blerancourt

Visit: Anne Morgan’s war: American Women Rebuilding France, 1917-1924, published on A Woman’s Paris.

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