What New Orleans neighborhood do you live in? / Where did you grow up?
I live in the Gentilly area. I grew up in Toucountouna, Benin, West Africa.
Describe your job to us!
I have direct oversight of International Relations, including relationships from outside of the country and international entities within the city. I oversee relations with our sister cities, including reactivating our dormant sister cities, creating new relationships, and building links to keep our partnerships active.
Tell us about your career path.
I worked as an Executive Assistant to Councilmember Cantrell, when Mayor Cantrell served as a Councilmember. I then went back to school to pursue a degree in Romance Languages. I graduated in 2015 with a Masters in Spanish and a Masters in French in 2016. I accepted a position at Dillard University to teach both French and Spanish for the 2016-2017 academic year. In the 2017-2018 academic year, I taught study skills at Ben Franklin High School before joining the Mayor’s team in July of 2018.
What do you find to be the most significant challenges in your role?
When I took office last year, we had 12 Sister Cities with only three (Orleans, France, Innsbruck, Austria and Matsue, Japan) being active. Those respective cities have events celebrating New Orleans regularly. For our Tricentennial, our delegation of sister cities did not only come to celebrate with us for one day; they celebrated New Orleans throughout the year in Orleans. But it is challenging for us to be able to send a delegation to all of these places.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy being able to meet our visitors where they are. Making sure that they feel at home and helping to plan on their next visit while they are still in the city.
What is your favorite thing about New Orleans?
New Orleans is an international hub that allows me to connect with global cultures and practice the different languages that I speak. The Food, the Music, the people, and most importantly, the weather. I love the weather because it doesn’t get too cold, just like in my country.