Dr. Vicki Birchfield was presented the “Chevalier de l’Ordre Nationale du Merite” (Knight of the French National Order of Merit) in a ceremony in Atlanta on May 9. Decreed by the president of the French Republic, the award is one of highest civilian honors accorded by the French government.
An associate professor in The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Birchfield was recognized for her “brilliant leadership in service” of the U.S. – E. U. “transatlantic relationship."
In presenting her the award, Pascal Le Deunff, France’s consul general for the Southeast, lauded Birchfield for raising the international profile of Atlanta and for strengthening mutual understanding between the American and the European views "during difficult times -- transatlantic trade disputes, political and diplomatic disagreements."
Birchfield has served on the IAC faculty since 2000. She currently co-directs the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies whose mission is to advance knowledge and understanding of the E.U., transformations in European politics and society, and the significance of the E.U.-U.S. relationship. She directed the European Union Center of Excellence at Georgia Tech from 2008 to 2011. She has led a study abroad program in Europe taking hundreds of students to study the European Union and transatlantic relations from the capitols of Brussels, Paris, and Berlin. Her research and teaching has focused on French political economy and culture and she has been a visiting scholar at Sciences Po, Paris and the University of Bordeaux.
Birchfield was presented the award during a private ceremony on Europe Day an event in which she partnered that brings together European members of the Consular Corps, regional economic and educational leaders to showcase the U.S. - E.U relationship.
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