The new director of the American Library in Paris is Jeffrey Hawkins, a seasoned American diplomat now serving as the United States Ambassador to the Central African Republic.
Ambassador Hawkins will begin his new duties in September upon his retirement after 27 years in the U.S. Foreign Service. He succeeds Charles Trueheart as director.
“During the search process, the board of trustees was impressed by Ambassador Hawkins’s broad-ranging intellect, his record of leadership, and his engaging personality,” said Luis Roth, chairman of the board, who headed the search committee. “We are confident that he is the ideal director to build on Charlie Trueheart’s legacy, and to guide the Library in the next stage of development.”
Hawkins commented: “I am so excited to be joining the team. I’ve spent a career building bridges between America and the world. And that’s what the Library is all about, using the written and spoken word to celebrate American culture and the English language in general.”
Hawkins, 51, is a former U.S. consul general in Lagos, Nigeria, and served as U.S. consul in Lille, a decade ago. He is fluent in French.
He has also served in Angola, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Cote d’Ivoire, and Washington. In those roles, he has overseen American libraries and cultural centers, been active in public outreach, and raised private funds for public causes.
Ambassador Hawkins was born in Lexington, Virginia, and raised in Los Angeles. He has degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Southern California. He and his wife, a French executive with Total, are the parents of two young children.
The new director will lead our historic nonprofit cultural center serving some 3,000 English-speaking people in France with an annual budget of $1.3 million, a staff of thirteen, and a 10,000 sq. ft. facility open sixty hours a week.