François Penguilly has moved to 4101 Reservoir Rd since September 3 with enthusiasm. For his first post as Consul General, Washington was a city he loved instantly. "I was surprised to see such a rural and forest environment”, He admits. The free museums, the family side of the capital, and the sports activities close at hand seduced the consul and his family.

After four years in Abu Dhabi as the first adviser to the French Embassy in the United Arab Emirates, François Penguilly succeeded Michel Charbonnier, who had been in post since 2015. Between the Middle East and the United States, he discovered a new world. After a post of political adviser in Algiers, then in Jerusalem as deputy consul general, and finally in the United Arab Emirates, François Penguilly knew of the United States only New York and the UN as editor in chief of the Nations United, his first post at the quai d'Orsay. "As soon as I arrived, I felt the vitality of the French community ”, he emphasizes.

He quickly understood that one of the priorities of this community is bilingualism. "Bilingual education is one of our priorities”, He says. "It is also a question of influence diplomacy, and how to broaden and reach young audiences", He confides, adding that he is working on a vocational training component.

François Penguilly was very touched when a school in Baltimore recited the oath of allegiance in five languages, including French, which “was quite extraordinary" according to him. He felt the same emotions when he visited Rochambeau in Bethesda or the French school in Philadelphia. Bilingual education is also about “the attractiveness of France for American audiences and residents”, He emphasizes, in particular to attract students and researchers. “How to attract the best to our French universities?”, He asked himself.

The new consul’s other priority is economic diplomacy. "We work to promote the establishment of French companies, and especially SMEs", He explains, recalling that the consulate's mission is to help the installation of French companies in the United States. Conversely, it also works to promote France as an economic destination for the Americans. "Differences in tax framework and labor law may worry US economic players”, He admits, while recalling that “There are still a lot of projects coming to fruition and the United States remains the first foreign investor in France!".

In another aspect, climate change is also in the sights of the Consul General. “There is cooperation in place between cities, Washington DC with Paris, or even Maryland with Haut-de-France, there is a lot to do”, he emphasizes.

Among the other missions of the consulate, François Penguilly recalls the advantages of registering to vote in the capital, especially with the consular elections of May 16. “I invite all French people in our constituency to register online or by appointment”, He recalls.

To mark his arrival, François Penguilly opened the first twitter account for the Washington Consul General on whom he documents the activities of the institution, such as recently, in December, the meeting between the ambassador, the consul general and the mayor of washington.


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