Paul LeClerc, a great friend of France
On Thursday May 17, 2012, Mr. Paul LeClerc, President Emeritus of the New York Public Library and Director of Global Center Europe at Columbia University was made Officer in the French Legion of Honor by the Consul General of France in New York, Mr. Philippe Lalliot.
As a specialist of the Enlightenment movement, Paul LeClerc is one of the finest connoisseurs of the 18th century in general, and of Voltaire’s work in particular. As President of the New York Public Library from 1993 to 2011, Paul LeClerc has increased the number of exhibitions involving French works, and transformed this New York establishment into a center of intellectual beaming worldwide. A great friend of France, Paul LeClerc is now President of the Advisory Board of the Maison Française at Columbia, as well as Director of the “Global Center Europe”, one of the regional centers of Columbia University in Paris. “An extraordinary career bearing the double signature, of excellence, and that of a Francophile,” recalled Mr. Lalliot, who praised Paul LeClerc’s “erudition, finesse and elegance”.