Graduates of Université Paris-Sud meet up in Boston

Université Paris-Sud’s alumni network boosts its international presence with a gathering of graduates working in the Boston area of the US.

Graduates meet up at the Transatlantic University Forum for Women

On September 25, Boston hosted the Transatlantic University Forum for Women, a project initiated by the Consulate General of France in Boston and organized as a series of roundtables bringing together politicians, universities, the research community and major French and American groups. The objective: to compare transatlantic contexts and policies and thus develop international standards for gender equality and global opportunities for all women.

Photo credit: Guillaume Garreta

Evening closing ceremony at the Consulate of France in Boston

In the evening, a Forum closing reception was held at the premises of the Consulate General of France in Boston, which graduates of the Université Paris-Sud working in Boston and the Massachusetts region were invited to attend; this offered an opportunity to form a branch of the Alumni Network Paris-Sud in an international metropolis. The graduates were able to meet Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, who had made the trip, Sylvie Retailleau, who reported back on the latest news from Université of Paris-Saclay, and Arnaud Mentré, Consul of France in Boston and organizer of the evening.

Short, pertinent speeches opened the evening, followed by discussions conducive to networking between graduates, forum partners and participants. Many alumni from the world of business and research indicated that they were recruiting and would love to be able to leverage the network of graduates of Université Paris-Sud. The reception ended with a cocktail dinner paying tribute to French culinary skills.

Graduates in attendance included David Setboun, President of the Academy for Health & Lifespan Research and Vice President of the start-up company Life Biosciences, Christophe Arbet-Engels, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President – Development and Medical Affairs at POXEL, Charlène Ferrand, head of regulatory affairs at Voisin Consulting Life Sciences (VCLS), Juliette Bouyssou, post-doc in oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, Laura Thessilat-Vermee, post-doc in neuro-oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and also Fatima Mahfouf, International Corporate Volunteer (V.I.E.) at Sanofi-Genzyme, and Lili Wang, researcher at Solid Biosciences.

This event generated tremendous interest. Caroline Le Pechon Vallée and her husband Sébastien Vallée, both graduates of Université Paris-Sud and respectively events organizer at Boston QSP (BQSP) and researcher at Shire Pharmaceuticals, shared their initial reactions: "We had an excellent evening! It was great to get together again with former students of the Université Paris-Sud. Four of us had taken the same Master’s program, the memories we have are all good! The evening was a mix of graduates from all generations, with very varied profiles and career paths: vice presidents of major groups, CEOs of young start-ups, post-docs and International Corporate Volunteers newly arrived on American soil (...) It was also a pleasure to have a chance to speak French all evening, and then the food was gorgeous."

Photo credit: Caroline Le Pechon Vallée

If you are a graduate of Université Paris-Sud working in Boston or the Massachusetts area, you can join ‘Alumni Network Paris-Sud made in Boston’ by completing the following form (specify in the ‘Message’ section that you are in Boston/the Massachusetts area) or by joining the LinkedIn group

Sylvie Retailleau, a woman of science

Sylvie Retailleau, President of Université Paris-Saclay, participated in the roundtable led by Joseph Aoun, President of Northeastern University, who presented a preliminary global appraisal of transatlantic contexts and policies and the development of international standards for gender equality. Sylvie Retailleau spoke alongside Lawrence Bacow, President of Harvard University, Alain Fuchs, President of Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, and Christina Paxson, President of Brown University. To view the roundtable video, follow this link:

The following roundtables focused on women in science, women in public affairs and also women in business with female entrepreneurship. The day ended with a session entitled ‘Leading by Example, Raising International Standards / Montrer l’exemple, améliorer les normes internationales’.

University Professor and Professor of Physics at Université Paris-Sud, a former student of ENS Paris-Saclay, Sylvie Retailleau obtained an ‘agrégation’ in Applied Physics and was awarded a science doctorate from Université Paris-Sud. She was director of the Master’s degree in Information, Systems and Technology and also director of the Institute of Fundamental Electronics. Vice President of the Physics Department, then Dean of the Faculty, she was President of Université Paris-Sud and is currently President of Université Paris-Saclay. She has a special interest in the transfer of innovation in research, education and training. Her passion for training is also reflected in her strong commitment to promoting the broad dissemination of scientific culture. She participated in the creation of the ‘Diagonale Paris-Saclay’ which facilitates dialogue between science and society.