Second Annual Washburne Award for Innovation in Diversity

Washburne Award for Innovation in Diversity



2012 Award Ceremont. L-R: Lilian Thuram, President, Education Contre le Racisme Foundation; Eric Boustouller, President, Microsoft France, Director of AmCham France; Mansour Zoberi & Matthieu Riché, Director of Diversity Promotion and Director, CSR at Groupe Casino; Charles Rivkin, US Ambassador to France; Fleur Pellerin, Ministre for Small Business, Innovation and the Digital Economy; Jean-Luc Allavena, Director, French-American Foundation, France; Jean-Louis Chaussende & Patrick-Hubert Petit, President & VP, KPMG France Corporate Foundation. Photo/P. Maulavé


The U.S. Embassy in Paris, in partnership with the AmCham France and the French American Foundation France, is welcoming nominations for the second annual Washburne Award for Innovation in Diversity. This year’s award recipients will be announced in May 2013. Nominations must be received by April 05, 2013.

Award winners for the first year (awarded May 2012) were the Casino Group and the KPMG Foundation.

Elihu Benjamin Washburne

Longtime friend and staunch supporter of Presidents Lincoln and Grant, Elihu Benjamin Washburne was a prominent supporter of racial equality in the United States in the 19th century. U.S. Congressman from 1853 to 1869, he was a member of the Committee on Reconstruction that gave rise to the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing the right to vote, law enforcement and legal protection of all American citizens without distinction. He briefly held the post of Secretary of State before becoming  Minister Plenipotentiary to France from 1869 to 1877, where he played a courageous role during the Franco-Prussian War, the Siege of Paris and the Commune.

Purpose of the Award

  • To advance shared Franco-American goals that promote diversity and that reflect our longstanding commitment to developing economic opportunity for all citizens;
  • To honor French and American companies which develop innovative programs that promote diversity in the workplace by publicly recognizing private sector organizations that excel in the recruitment, training, and mentoring of employees from diverse backgrounds.  This includes programs that prepare/empower individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the mainstream economy;
  • To promote employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth in France by encouraging companies to identify and develop young talent from diverse backgrounds;
  • To encourage entrepreneurship in disadvantaged areas by expanding the capacity of French and American companies to recruit talented individuals;
  • To increase Franco-American exchanges of information and ideas regarding diversity, training, and recruitment of disadvantaged youth, as well as job creation.

Two prizes will be awarded for this program, the first to an American company based in France and the second to a French company for their significant contribution in the field of diversity. This year’s winners will be announced in May 2013. The deadline for application is 05 April 2013.

Selection of finalists and award presentation

During the selection process, the finalists will be invited to provide additional material such as logos or high-quality images. The organizers will use these for both printed and online communication materials during the awards ceremony awards and for media promotion of the event. The Prize will be awarded in May 2013. The winners will be invited on stage and will have the opportunity to give a brief speech.