- Harriet Welty Rochefort grew up in Shenandoah, Iowa and studied in the
Midwest, earning a B.A. at the University of Michigan and a M.S.J.
at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
A lifelong attraction to France led her to visit Paris during
college. She moved to France permanently in 1971. As a freelance
journalist in Paris, she contributed articles on French business
and culture to major newspapers and magazines including The
Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The International Herald
Tribune, European Travel and Life, France Discovery
Guide and Time where she reported for the Paris bureau
for eight years. She teaches journalism at the Institut d'Etudes
Politiques in Paris. She has lectured extensively on Franco-American
cultural differences to many groups and universities, in France
and in the US : see
Her first book, French
Toast, an American in Paris
Celebrates the Maddening Mysteries
of the French was published by St.Martin's Press in January
1999 and was published in a French translation in 2005.
Philippe Rochefort and Harriet Welty Rochefort (2009)
Together or separately, Philippe and Harriet speak
about Franco-American Intercultural Differences : click here for
information. They live in Paris in the XXth Arrondissement.
Her second book, French Fried,
The Culinary Capers of an American in Paris was published
by St.Martin's Press in March 2001. An adaptation in French of French
Toast was published by Editions Ramsay in May 2005. Currently,
she wrote a cyberspace monthly "Letter From Paris"
for The Paris Pages website. Her third book Joie de Vivre. Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French.
- Philippe Rochefort , 77, was
born and raised in Paris. He graduated from Ecole Centrale de
Lyon with an engineering degree, holds a doctoral degree in Economy
from the University of Paris and studied management at Columbia
University. He worked for many years for Dexia Credit Local,
a Franco-Belgian bank (Head of Structured Finance then Head of
Risks and for his last position Head of Compliance) (see his resume). He taught economics
at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, Ecole des Ponts
et Chaussées and Ecole Centrale de Paris for many years.
He has published many articles on urban transportation, the field
he was involved in at the beginning of his carreer and later on economy and now on history. He was
President of the French Parking Association until 2010 and he is a student (History)
at the Sorbonne where he obtained his Ph.D. in History in 2013 (read his diary of an old new student). In his spare time, he works on this website understandfrance.org in the hope of explaining France to Americans and fostering better
And our sons :
- Nicolas, 50, a neurologist
in Marseilles, after his internship as chief-resident ("chef
de clinique") at Hopital de la Timone is now a "Praticien
Hospitalier" (senior hospital doctor) in Marseille. With Katia, he had a daughter, Judith (born 2001) and a son, Hadrien, (born 2006). See the picture of the three
39, earned a doctoral
degree (D.E.A.) in Philosophy at the Sorbonne. After having worked
as editorial assistant at Flammarion, a major French publishing
firm, he was a literary agent
in Paris ; now, he is the editor of a scientific review and and a writer. His first novel, La paresse et l'oubli was published in 2010 by Gallimard/NRF followed by a second one Le point de Schelling and a third one to be published in May 2019. He lives in Paris with Rachel and daughters Hannah (born 2010) and Elsa (born 2014).
- Benjamin, 43, is a graduate (Ecole Centrale de
Paris) of the French "Grandes Ecoles" system (see Harriet's
book French Toast
or our site understandfrance
for the explanation) ; he is a software developer at Dassault
Systemes, one of the leading French software firms and lives
in Montreal with wife Gwenaëlle, son Alexandre (born
2006) and daughter Juliette (born 2010).
- See the pictures of our French and American
Our hobbies include
- For both of us : various activities
linked with Franco-American relations such as lectures and speeches,
wine & cheese tastings,
- For Philippe : a dedicated website
writing his Ph.d. in History at
Sorbonne, obsessional genealogical
research, painting (very depressing : see picture), collecting
stamps, postcard, etc...
- For Harriet : writing about
France for US media see her
We would like to know more about
the families we have encountered in our genealogical research,
particularly the early settlers in Pennsylvania in the early
XVIIIth century (surnames : Welty,
Biddle, Loney, Switzer, Hunsaker, Beaton,...) or in New Amsterdam
in the early XVIIth century (Schenk, Monfoort, Wyckoff, Cool,
...), see a few biographies, particularly
of early settlers, the family tree and
click for family pictures.
of the page
Welty Rochefort's books :
- "French Toast, An American in Paris
Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press,
New York, 1999
- "French Fried, The Culinary Capers
of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001
More on Harriet's
(excerpts, upcoming events, testimonials, etc..) and on speeches by Harriet and/or Philippe Rochefort on intercultural differences
site still under construction
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