Dear friends and colleagues, 

I will be leaving the post of Country Director France on 1st June.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working for the British Council over the past four years. It is a great team; committed, enthusiastic, dynamic, determined to encourage and grow English learning, to help French students to take and pass English language examinations and from an Education and cultural standpoint, to build robust and sustainable bilateral partnerships, collaboration and shared insight between France and the UK.

My colleagues here represent 45 different nationalities and that international perspective merged with our strong British Council values is the foundation for a great organisation. 

I would like to thank you for all the support and collaboration you have given me during my mission and I leave with such wonderful memories of our partnerships, projects and the lasting friendships I have made.

I’m delighted to let you know that Anne Duncan will be joining British Council to take over as Country Director France on 1 June 2021.

Anne is French/American, whose British education and experience has profoundly marked her life, creating enduring personal, professional and cultural ties with the United Kingdom.  Based in Paris, she is an experienced leader, creator and driver of strategy, and has a track record building vision, growth and transformation of organisations. She is currently co-Chair of the Board of Governors of the American Hospital of Paris among other roles.  

Anne brings a high level of international and particularly European experience across the breadth of business, government, charities/NGOs and cultural sectors. She is experienced as a consultant and in leading and developing mission-driven organisations such as the International Women’s Forum, Institute of Directors, London Olympic Committee, Dallas International Sports Commission, Slow Food and Euro Gusto,.  

Daughter of an English and drama teacher, Anne grew up in the world of theatre. The experience anchored her belief in the power of language, education, arts and culture to build connections, create meaning, and improve and transform lives.  Values close to the British Council, I wish her all the best in her new role.

I will continue to live in France, my home is here now, I arrived in 1993, landing at Terminal 1, the only terminal at CDG, amidst a France in the height of industrial action. Our lives have been transformed in those last 28 years. The opening of the Eurostar, the Thalys to Brussels and low cost flights transformed our travel from Paris. The internet and mobile phone technology have changed the way we handle information, whilst WhatsApp and Zoom have changed the way we connect to family, friends and work. This C19 pandemic has moved us ahead yet again, with online work and shopping, challenging the need for big office spaces in cities and remodelling the way we teach and learn. 

I will now focus on my family and grandchildren, on our garden and my golf, tennis, hiking & skiing, Claire and I will use this time to travel to see friends and new places. I have plans to visit every one of the 99 French Departments, to walk the “tour de Mont Blanc” and the GR20 south, to continue to read and learn and to support charities and culture in any way I can. 

Bob Lewis, Country Director 
British Council in France, 9 rue Constantine, 75007 Paris, France
M +33 (0) 771369212

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