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Meet our team!


Julie Ripoll
Executive Director

Julie Ripoll moved to California, with her family, in 2012 after living in Austin, Texas. She went to UCSD to learn more about fundraising and development while volunteering in various organizations related to education or social justice. She worked at San Diego French American School, then opened her company “San Diego, c’est beau!” which helped newcomers settle in the Finest City of America and showed tours with historical and architectural sights. 

Prior to living in San Diego, she worked as a computer scientist at Marine Nationale, at Mairie de Mougins as a geographical information analyst, and was elected in the city of Pegomas as a councilwoman. Julie Ripoll holds a Master of Law, Economics and Gestion from Université de Paris Sorbonne I, and an MBA from Institut des Administration des Entreprises de Paris (IAE).

She enjoys going on a walk or watching a movie with her family, and making her own sourdough bread or baguettes in her free time.

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Amélie Chappaz
Educational Director

Amélie Chappaz is a native French speaker, and her teaching qualification is internationally recognized. She is passionate about the French language and even more so about sharing it and inspiring others. She has recently relocated to San Diego with her husband and their two daughters. Previously living in England, she has been teaching and tutoring in various settings, including schools and enterprises. She is thus used to adapting her lessons to multiple audiences from children to students, adults, and senior citizens. Amelie develops and evaluates the curricula, teaching procedures and educational materials within an institution. She is the one as well that will help you find the perfect teacher that can help you progress in your journey with the French language. 

Amelie is also the book club coordinator.

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Laurence de Valmy
Cultural Coordinator

Laurence de Valmy is French-born and has been living in the USA for nine years. After an MBA at Paris Dauphine and a career in marketing, she decided to dedicate herself to her passion and became a professional artist in 2016.
Laurence's primary mediums are watercolors, oils, and acrylics, and she teaches art classes in a private studio and at the Alliance Francaise.
In her artistic practice, she combines her interest in art history and painting to invite us to reflect on the place of social media for artists. Her artwork is represented by galleries based in New York, London, and France.

Passionate about culture, she gives art lectures and writes for her blog The Curious Frenchy, and art publications.


Frank Finch
Educational Coordinator

Frank Finch moved to San Diego in the Winter of 2022. A passionate francophile, Frank has lived and studied in Metz and Lille, in France, and in Montréal, Québec. While completing his MA in French Studies at Virginia Tech, he was also an instructor of undergraduate French. Frank has previously worked as a legal translator from French to English. 


Frank is deeply interested in second-language pedagogy, linguistic diversity in the Francophone world, and art history. He is motivated to put these passions into the service of the residents of San Diego as Educational Coordinator of the Alliance Française. 


He plays harpsichord in a chamber music group and enjoys discovering Francophone cinema in his free time. Frank is currently studying the work of Jean-Philippe Rameau.


Adriana Bird
Marketing and Digital Intern

Adriana is a third-year student at San Diego State University studying International Business with a focus on French and Western Europe and an additional emphasis in Marketing.  She has previous experience as an intern in marketing and sales positions, and is very excited to combine her business-related skills along with her passion for the French language at the Alliance Française. After graduation, she hopes to work abroad in France. Adriana loves to travel and learn about new cultures along the way! 

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