Sciences-Po Dinner at the French Ambassador’s house with former Prime Minister Alain Juppé

Chic-Londres was a guest at the beautiful dinner organised on January 13 by Sciences-Po Alumni UK Trust at the Résidence de France, with former French Prime minister Alain Juppé, French ambassador to the UK Maurice Gourdault-Montagne and Sciences-Po director Richard Descoings.

The Who’s Who of Frog Valley met at the French ambassador’s beautiful house in Kensington Gardens for the party organised by Sciences-Po Alumni UK Trust for its main donors on January 13. Most of the seventy guests were Sciences-Po alumni, and included Arnaud Vaissié, CEO of International SOS, Antoine de Navacelle, the founder of the Modern Olympics Pierre de Coubertin’s great grand nephew, Charles de Croisset, ex-CEO of the CCF bank, Juliette Streichenberger, general manager of Prada UK, Benoit d’Angelin, founder of hedge fund Ondra Partners, Bernard Gault, founder of private bank Perella Weinberg and Bertrand Coste, founder of private equity fund Clerville, as well as the French ambassador and guest of honour Alain Juppé.

Sciences-Po Alumni UK Trust is a charity set up in 2008 by Stéphane Rambosson, Cécile d’Angelin and Maëva Slotine to provide bursaries for Sciences-Po students. Described by The Economist in 2001 as “the grandest of the grandes écoles which, since Napoleon, have provided France with its political, administrative and business elite”, Sciences Po (or “Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris”, its official name) has long been considered as a national and global leaders’ “factory”. Established in Paris in 1872 to modernise the training of politicians, Sciences Po alumni include 28 past and present French Primes ministers and Presidents (François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy studied there) and 12 past or present foreign heads of State or government, as well as many prominent politicians, including Sir Austen Chamberlain, Peace Nobel Prize winner and one of Britain’s most popular past Foreign Secretaries.

While nearly every French high ranking politician or diplomat has attended Sciences Po since its inception, the institution’s global reach is far wider, notably in International Relations, with former alumni including Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, current Director-General of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy, current President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet and current head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

In business, the school can claim to have housed 14 of the current CEOs of France’s 40 largest companies. This impressive record is not confined to France: the 2007 annual higher survey conducted by the Ecoles des Mines de Paris, which bases its ranking on the institutions attended by the CEOs of the 500 biggest multinational companies, rates Sciences Po as the 8th best universities in the world. Numerous intellectuals -including novelist Marcel Proust, philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, former Harvard president Derek Bok and Pulitzer Prize winner Stanley Karnow- have also honed their skills amongst its walls. More surprisingly, its list of former alumni includes celebrities such as fashion legend Christian Dior, Princess Caroline of Monaco, ex-Rolling Stones wife and human rights activist Bianca Jagger and pop singer Camille Dalmais -proof if needed of its rather unique cultural influence!