Headquartered in Paris, the Fondation Alliance Française (Alliance Française Foundation) oversees the operation of over 832 Alliances around the world as per the objectives outlined by the French Ministry of External Affairs. These Alliances are structured into networks and work in close collaboration with reputed organisations from their host countries.

The Fondation des Alliances Françaises was created in 1883 and is the first cultural NGO in the world.


The Alliance Française network was founded in 1883 by eminent scientists and philosophers, (Louis Pasteur, Ferdinand de Lesseps, Paul Cambon, Victor Duruy, ..) with the aim to spread French culture and language. Its action is indifferent to any political or religious opinion. It acts in the respect of freedom, democracy and good citizenship.

Ever since its creation, the Alliance Française de Paris has helped the Alliances Françaises over the world to expand their network. In July 2007, its status was modified and it became the Fondation Alliance Française. This foundation is officially recognised as a non-profit organisation and represents the moral and legal referent of the Alliances Françaises throughout the world.


The Alliance Française Foundation supports good governance in the Alliances. It has experts organised according to geographical zones, capable of reacting and advising an Alliance Française when it encounters a difficulty. The Fondation is supported jointly by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Education which contribute to its budget and to the management of its workforce.

Its Board of Directors comprises of renowned personalities like Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, permanent secretary at the Académie française, writer Eric Orsena, journalist Bernard Pivot. Its sponsors, CIC- Banque Transatlantique, Laboratoires Pierre Fabre, le Cordon Bleu, Total, constitute an active school. 

The Fondation’ has the exclusive ownership of the “Alliance Française” label and grants the right to use it. Whenever a new Alliance is created, it has to refer to the Foundation in order to be officially recognised after examination of its statuses. Prior to the attribution of this label the Foundation ensures that the associations, which abide by local law, also respect a set of guiding principles defined by itself and common to all the Alliances. These principles include strict political and religious neutrality with respect to local disputes.

For more details, visit the website Fondation Alliance Française