Congratulations to Vanessa Ibarra on receiving the French National Order of Merit!

Congratulations to Vanessa Ibarra, the Director of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, for receiving the French National Order of Merit! 

See below an announcement from the Atlanta Mayor’s Office. 

MOIA Proudly Announces our Director, Vanessa Ibarra received the French National Order of Merit!

The Mayor’s Office of International Affairs is proud to congratulate our Director, Vanessa Ibarra, on receiving the prestigious French National Order of Merit with the rank of Knight (l’Ordre National du Mérite) from President Emmanuel Macron for her many years of dedicated service in advancing the France–Atlanta relationship! The ceremony began with congratulatory remarks from Jon Keen, Chief Operating Officer of the City of Atlanta, on behalf of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Claire Angelle, Founder of Angelle Consulting and Member, Conseillers du Commerce extérieur de la France (French Foreign Trade Advisors).

Consul General Vincent Hommeril of France in Atlanta delivered a speech that included Vanessa’s background and her most recent efforts to engage the French-American and international communities overall. Consul General remarked, “Your commitment to the international community in Atlanta is undeniable […] To put it simply and directly, there are very few who, like you, have participated in the development of so many partnerships and carried out so many collaborations between France and Atlanta.” Directly following his remarks, Consul General Hommeril bestowed the medal upon Vanessa with the insignia of Knight of the French National Order of Merit.

During her remarks, Vanessa mentioned her appreciation to the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, French Ambassador to the US Philippe Etienne, Consul General Vincent Hommeril, her family, and the many people in attendance. She also promised to continue her strong advocacy for the French language and culture and honor the United States-France relationship:

When I look at this medal, I feel an immense sense of pride and respect for what it stands for, for the personal journey to get here and smile because I know that none of the work that I have done throughout the years would be possible without the commitment and support of all those here. […]

All roads have and will continue to lead to and from France, as I promise here to continue to honor this medal and what it represents. I promise to continue to honor the friendship I have with France, and will continue to grow our bilateral relations. I will continue to promote the French language and culture to the generations to come. I promise to continue to promote innovation and technology between the United States and France. 

I promise to continue to be an ally to all of you in this room, and Consul General Hommeril, I am always here to support the Consulate and the Embassy.” 

Félicitations, Vanessa!