Adieu Consul General of France in Boston Valéry Freland

AUGUSTA, Me- Franco-Americans have enjoyed the support and friendship of Valéry Freland, a diplomat who has served for three years as the Consul General of France in Boston.  At a July 17, reception, the representatives from Maine’s Franco-American communities and state leaders gathered at a reception hosted by Severin Beliveu, at the law offices of Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios, in Augusta, to bid “au revoire” to M. Freland, who is taking a position in the international private sector.

Severin Beliveau Valery Freland and Doris Bonneau

Severin Beliveau, M. Valery Freland (center) and Doris Bonneau at a reception to bid adieu to the Consul General of France in Boston, on July 17.

During his three years of service to the French Consulate in Boston, M. Feland has enjoyed many visits to Maine.  “Maine is a special place,” he said to the receptions’ guests. “It is important because 25 to 30 percent of the population have direct French-Canadian ancestry.  Also, at least 5 percent of the population speaks French at home. In fact, it is the highest percentage of French spoken at home in the United States.”  Among his many leadership activities as the Consul General, M. Freland has awarded Madame Doris Bonneau of Auburn with the ceremonial title of “Chevalier de L’Ordre de Mérite”. Also, he endorsed a joint proclamation of recognition to Maine’s Franco-American Governor Paul LePage, presented with the Franco-American Collection and the Franco-Gendron Center, in Lewiston during ceremonies at the Augusta State House. As the Consul General, M. Freland served the French and Franco-American communities throughout northern New England. He presented Légion d’Honneur  awards to American veterans at ceremonies in Chelsea, Mass.

After completing his service in Boston, M. Freland will be the Executive Director of an international humanitarian initiative recently organized in Geneva, Switzerland.  He will lead ALIPH, an organization with the purpose of providing the international community with support and resources to protect the heritage of countries threatened by the destruction caused by armed violence. An article published in 2017, provides some information about this newly formed organization, available at this link here.

ALIPH and its purpose ~ In order to give the international community the means to act effectively to protect the heritage threatened by armed conflicts, the President of France and The Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates created in March 2017 the international alliance for the protection of heritage in conflict zones (ALIPH). Americans also serve on the ALIPH board.

A biography of Valéry Freland is posted on the Consulate’s website. His academic career has been focused on international communications and diplomacy. He was born in 1968, and is an Alumni of the French Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and of the French Ecole Nationale d’administration (Class Leopold Sedar Senghor). He has a Master’s Degree in Law.

He began his international diplomacy career in 1997-98, when he entered the Department of International Cooperation at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Upon graduating from the French Ecole Nationale d’Administration in 2004, he was appointed Foreign Affairs Advisor and worked in the Department of European Affairs as an Officer.

Between 2007 and 2009, he served as Advisor for Audiovisual Media and Cultural Affairs at the Permanent Representation of France to the European Union in Brussels, during the French European Union (EU) Presidency.

Back in Paris, he held office as Deputy Director of Audiovisual Media and Communication Technologies. He became the Diplomatic Advisor to the Office of the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand (2009-2010).

In 2010, he was appointed as Advisor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs and Director of the French Institute in Tunis. Also, in 2010, he was made the recipient of the honor “Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters”.

In 2015, M. Freland became Consul General in Boston.

M. Freland at PretiFlaherty

M. Freland at PretiFlaherty received a farewell gift including a color atlas about Maine.

Maine will miss M. Freland.

He assured the guests who gathered to congratulate him in Augusta that his successor will be advised about the importance of recognizing Maine’s Franco-Americans, the culture, history and heritage.

A successor has not yet been announced.

Adieu M. Freland. Bonne chance dans votre nouvelle aventure.

Juliana L'Heureux

About Juliana L'Heureux

Juliana L’Heureux is a free lance writer who publishes news, blogs and articles about Franco-Americans and the French culture. She has written about the culture in weekly and bi-weekly articles, for the past 27 years.