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NATO | French-American Histories

French-American Histories, One Story, Two Narratives is a program of virtual talks launched by Villa Albertine in collaboration with the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA. Each episode reveals a different facet of the vibrant French-American tapestry, through interviews with leading scholars, experts, and practitioners conducted by Dr. Iris de Rode, an expert in the history of French-American relations. The interviews are broadcast live and recorded at the French Embassy or other locations in the United States. For this edition, we are thrilled to host Colonel Nicolas Durand, for an episode focusing on French-American narratives around NATO.

Click here to access our upcoming Zoom webinar.

For the upcoming French-American Histories, One Story, Two Narratives conversation, we will explore French-American relations within NATO. The issue will feature an exclusive interview with Colonel Nicolas Durand, the French National Liaison Representative at NATO Supreme Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, VA. Our discussion will delve into pivotal themes, such as NATO’s history and structure, reflections on its anniversary, the strategic significance of the NATO base in Norfolk, Colonel Durand’s role and responsibilities, and the mission and initiatives of NATO’s Strategic Warfare Development Command.

A Conversation with Colonel Nicolas Durand

Colonel Nicolas Durand is a seasoned French Army officer with extensive experience in military operations, international relations and strategic affairs. Currently, he serves as the National Liaison Representative at NATO Supreme Allied Command Transformation (Norfolk, VA). 

As an armored cavalry officer, he served in leadership positions in combat units in the French army, including the command of the 3rd Hussars regiment in Metz (France). His operational experience includes several deployments to the Balkans, Africa, Afghanistan and the Middle East.  

A graduate of the French Military Academy Saint-Cyr, Colonel Durand’s professional education encompasses a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Paris, the US Army Command and General Staff College course at Fort Leavenworth (Kansas) and the NATO Defense College in Rome.  

During his years as a staff officer, he served in the French MoD Directorate for Strategic Affairs in Paris, the French Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels and the Joint Command for Operations. 

Watch the recording of the livestream on the French Embassy’s YouTube channel below:

About French-American Histories, One Story, Two Narratives

240 years ago, fighting side by side for American independence, France was the first ally of the newly formed United States of America. Since then, the two countries have stood firm as “Sister Republics,” championing shared principles of democracy, freedom, and equality. The durable partnership has been characterized by a shared ambition and a common necessity for cooperation in a wide variety of fields in an increasingly globalized world. These encounters, spanning more than two centuries and ranging from military to economic policy, agriculture, trade, philosophy, art, science, and technology, have resulted in dynamic, fruitful, and inspirational cross-exchanges that have shaped the destiny of both countries.

The two countries have numerous similarities but also separate histories, cultures, and institutions, making their dynamic and creative relationship, which at times has been contentious. Over the years, comparable concepts that have been implemented in the distinct French and American cultures have flourished, but also encountered alteration, adaptation, or even opposition, requiring hurdles to be overcome and compromises to be found. France and the United States have frequently expressed their conviction in a single, unifying story, yet they needed two narratives to tell their peoples: One Story, Two Narratives.

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