FIAF Executive Team
As President of FIAF since 2004, Marie-Monique Steckel has overseen a revitalization of the organization through a $20 million renovation and expansion of the building. FIAF’s cultural programming has broadened in scope under her leadership, placing increased emphasis on the diversity and richness of francophone cultures around the globe.
Before arriving at FIAF, she created the French Industrial Development Agency in the United States (now Invest in France), went on to found and become the president of France Telecom North America, and finally served as Ronald S. Lauder’s (son of Estée Lauder) senior advisor on his private staff. In France, she worked with Jacques Chirac as the National Director of Communication at the creation of the RPR in 1977. She was awarded the Legion of Honor and is an officer of the French Order of Merit.
CFO & Vice President of Finance & Administration
Julie Jurjans Steckel is FIAF’s CFO and Vice President of Finance & Administration. Julie has an extensive background in finance, including previous roles as the CFO of two for-profit companies. As the CFO of BMRA (a DC area government contractor) she helped turn the organization from many years of losses to three straight years of profitability under her financial guidance. In addition to her corporate experience, Julie spent several years working on Wall Street at UBS and HSBC where she was largely responsible for originating and executing merger & acquisition transactions for clients in a variety of industries, and she also has experience executing equity and high yield offerings. Julie has a MBA from The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and an undergraduate degree in finance from James Madison University where she graduated magna cum laude.
Senior Director of Development and Strategy
Catherine Baumann joined the Development Team at FIAF in 2014 and oversees fundraising activities for the organization. Before moving to New York, Catherine was based in France, where for over ten years she worked in the non-profit cultural sector. Most recently, she led two service organizations representing the performing arts sector in France and Europe. There she developed national and international advocacy campaigns for the arts, and also managed labor negotiations and funding matters on behalf of members. She holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Masters in Arts Management from l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.
Vice President, Education
Edith Boncompain joined FIAF in 2014 as Deputy VP of Education. In 2015, she became the VP of Education. Edith has more than a decade of teaching experience both in Paris and the United States. From 2012 to 2014, she was the principal of a French bilingual charter school in Harlem. Previously, she taught in two French-American private schools in New York. Originally from Lyon, she studied English language arts at the Université Jean Moulin Lyon III. She has been living in New York since 2006.
Vice President, Library
Katharine Branning serves as director of FIAF’s Library, the leading all-French library in the United States since 1994. She has also founded and sustained two national projects destined for the network of American Alliance Française chapters, Project Benjamin and Project Merlin, which spearheaded the development of eight libraries and professionalism efforts for Alliance chapters. Most recently, she oversaw the management by the US Alliance Française network of the Culturethèque digital library platform of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Before coming to FIAF, she was Librarian at the French Embassy Cultural Services in New York City. The French president recognized Ms. Branning with the prestigious award of Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite. She serves on the Board of the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, and is chairman of the One Book, One Federation national reading program.
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Eva Chien joined FIAF in 2016 as VP of Marketing and Communications. Prior to coming to FIAF, she was at the Metropolitan Opera managing Press and Marketing for the Live in HD broadcasts around the world. Before 2012, Eva worked for nearly 10 ten years at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Lincoln Center Festival, the inaugural White Light Festival, and the acclaimed renovation of Alice Tully Hall. She was also Publicity Manager at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) from 2003-2006 and Associate Director of Marketing at Dallas Theater Center from 2006-2008.
Director of FIAF Montclair
Marie-Catherine Glaser joined FIAF in 2013 and led as the director of the New York Language center for two years. In 2015, she became the director of FIAF Montclair. From 2009 to 2013, she led educational programs at the Embassy of France in Washington DC for the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Previously, she worked in the Czech Republic, Russia, China and Latvia where she held positions in education and in at cultural organizations including Centre culturel francaise and the Alliance Française. Originally from Marseilles, she studied French and comparative literature at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon and pursued a specialization in teaching French as a foreign language at the Institut de recherche et de formation en français langue étrangère of the Université de Nantes.
Marguerite Nougue-Sans was invited by Marie-Monique Steckel to join the FIAF team in 2005 as Legal Counsel. She holds a “Maîtrise de Droit” and a “DEA” in Political Science from the University of Paris II/Assas and Paris I/Pantheon respectively. She came to NYC to obtain an LLM from New York University and has been an Attorney, member of the New York Bar since 1985. She first worked as an associate for a small NYC law firm servicing Swiss and French clients doing business in the U.S. and later became Assistant General Counsel for The North American Watch Corporation. In 1993, she started to work as Associate Attorney in the NYC office of a French law firm for over 10 years. Her clients included small and medium size French entities and businesses setting up and doing business in NYC. She has been very happy to work pro bono at FIAF and rekindle there her interest in French Culture.