Jean-David Levitte, French ambassador to the United States, will lecture on “The United States and France in a World Transformed,” at noon March 13 in the Uncas A. Whitaker Hall Auditorium.
Levitte will be in St. Louis for the festivities surrounding the bicentennial celebration of the Louisiana Purchase. In addition to speaking at the University, Levitte will address The Round Table of St. Louis and visit the Alliance Francaise School. He will also attend the Bicentennial Ball and the Three Flags Commemoration Ceremony at the Arch, marking the bicentennial of the transfer of the upper Louisiana Territory.
Levitte has had a distinguished and outstanding career in the French foreign service and has served on the staff of two French presidents.
Born in 1946 in southern France, Levitte earned a law degree and is a graduate of the renowned Institute for Political Science in Paris and of the National School of Oriental Languages, where he studied Chinese and Indonesian.
A few months after his election in 1974, French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing asked Levitte to work on his staff at the Elysee Palace, where he stayed from 1975-1981.
Levitte was then assigned to his first position in the United States as second counselor at the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations in New York.
In 1988, Levitte was designated to his first position as ambassador and served as the French permanent representative to the U.N. office in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1988-1990.
After the presidential elections in 1995, President Jacques Chirac asked Levitte to be his senior diplomatic adviser. He served in that position from 1995-2000.
Chirac appointed Levitte as French permanent representative to the United Nations in 2000, which he held until becoming ambassador to the United States.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Coffee and light refreshments will be served at 11:30 a.m.