by Cole Trudo
Ambassador Jane Hartley spoke at the Oscar Iden Annual Lecture on Foreign Policy hosted by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy on Thursday, September 28, 2017. Ambassador Hartley received Senate confirmation to be the U.S. Ambassador to France on September 16, 2014, and served in this position until January 19, 2017. She had a long career in the public and private sectors prior to her diplomatic service, including as the CEO of two economic and political consultancy companies.
Hartley’s time in France was defined by the terrorist attacks that have plagued the country in recent years. Between 2014-2016, France experienced over 10 terrorist attacks, including a shooting at the Charlie Hebdo satirist magazine in January 2015, simultaneous attacks by suicide bombers and gunmen in Paris in November 2015, and violence via vehicle from a truck ramming into pedestrians on Bastille Day in Nice in July 2016. Hartley commented on how the French people remained resilient in the face of these terrible attacks, and connected the increased frequency of the attacks with France’s leading role in the coalition against ISIL. She spoke on how quickly the French showed their support of the United States post 9/11, and how many American WWII veterans still visit France to honor fallen French and U.S. soldiers.
Hartley’s speech was framed by the U.S. Government’s recent trend to pull away from international relationships, and to focus more on domestic affairs. She emphasized the longstanding relationship the U.S. and France have enjoyed.
France is not simply our oldest ally, but one of our closest and strongest allies. During my time as ambassador, our two countries made progress on a whole range of issues.