Vicki L. Birchfield has been awarded the distinction of “Chevalier de l’Ordre Nationale du Merite” (Knight in the French National Order of Merit) by decree of the President of the French Republic on October 12, 2011. The award is one of highest civilian honors accorded by the French government.
Birchfield, Associate Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs in the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, was recognized for her “brilliant leadership in service of the transatlantic relationship.”
Serving on the Georgia Tech faculty since 2000, Birchfield 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. She directed the European Union Center of Excellence at Georgia Tech from 2008 to 2011. Currently, she 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. Her research and teaching has also focused on French political economy and culture and she has been a visiting scholar at Sciences Po, Paris and the University of Bordeaux.
Birchfield will be presented the medal during an official ceremony at a future date.