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AFP announces a series of appointments

A series of appointments: Global news management and international appointments

Global news management

Marc Braibant, 62, has been appointed deputy global news director, succeeding Christophe Schmidt who is taking over as the Agency’s political editor.

Before becoming Montreal bureau chief in 2013, Marc Braibant was in charge of the design, development and deployment of the Iris editorial system for text. He was technical editor-in-chief between 2006 and 2011.
With a doctorate in economics and a DEA in development economics, Marc Braibant joined AFP in 1988. He held various economics reporting positions and worked in the Toulouse bureau before taking over as economics coordinator in the Washington bureau. He was head of the economics department from 2001 to 2006. Marc Braibant will take up his new post on October 1st.


International appointments

Katell Abiven, 39, has been appointed Havana bureau chief. She began her AFP career in the French city of Reims, then joined the economics service where she covered telecommunications and technology. She joined the Madrid bureau as an economics writer in 2010 and since 2014 has been based at the Agency’s Latin America headquarters in Montevideo covering the region for the French language market. She takes up her new position on September 1st.

Sarah Benhaida, 30, is to take over as Baghdad bureau chief in September. An expert on the Middle East and North Africa, she has worked in the region since 2011, covering the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt and violence in the occupied territories in 2015. A native Arabic speaker, she has worked on the editing desk in Nicosia and has been sent as a special envoy to Libya, Syria and Iraq, where she covered the battle for Mosul. She has been deputy Baghdad bureau chief since August 2017. She will take up her new position in September 2018.

Emma Charlton, 41, has been appointed head of the Agency’s English desk in Washington. A graduate of University College London, she joined the AFP English desk in 2004 and went on to cover French affairs and lifestyle for the Agency’s international clients. Charlton, who is British, became coordinator of the Agency’s English language blogs in 2013 and has been deputy head of the Washington English desk since 2015. She takes up her new position on September 1st.

Lucie Godeau, 42, has been appointed Jakarta bureau chief, taking up the position on September 1st. She joined AFPTV in 2002 and, as a Russian speaker, was posted in 2003 to the Moscow bureau where she covered economics before being transferred to the London bureau in 2006. Four years later she joined the Paris economics department where she covered new technology and the media.

Daniel Kemp, 43, has been appointed bureau chief in the Hague. The British journalist began his AFP career on the Asia-Pacific editing desk in Hong Kong in 2004 before being appointed news editor and deputy bureau chief in the Islamabad office. Four years later he joined the Bangkok bureau, then moved to the Agency’s Paris headquarters and subsequently worked in London and then Brussels, where he served as deputy bureau chief. He takes over in the Hague on September 1st.

Michael Mainville, 43, has been appointed Moscow bureau chief. The Canadian, a graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa, worked as a freelance in Russia for several years before joining AFP in 2007 as its correspondent in the Caucasus where he covered the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. He joined the Paris English desk in 2010 and from 2011 covered French news for the international market. He has been head of the AFP English desk in Nicosia and deputy Middle East editor since 2017. He takes up the Moscow position on November 1st.

Françoise Michel, 62, takes over as Brussels bureau chief on October 1st. A graduate of Lille’s ESJ journalism school, she started at the Agency’s international desk and then worked both as a desk editor and reporter in the economics service. She has since worked in the London, Washington, Bucharest, Sarajevo, Moscow and Rome bureaux, as well as on the Europe desk and in the French chief editor’s department.  Since 2014 she has been head of the society service.

Denis Rousseau, 62, returns to Latin America as San José bureau chief in September, having previously been stationed in the Havana bureau from 1996 to 1999. Denis Rousseau joined AFP in 1981 and was appointed to the Marseille bureau shortly after. On his return to Paris he worked on the international desk. Since then he has worked in Madrid, Strasbourg (as both a reporter and news editor) and Geneva, where he was appointed bureau chief in 2006. He has been working on the editing desk since 2013, having been seconded from the Tours bureau.

Eric Thomas, 54, has been appointed Montreal bureau chief. A graduate of Lille’s ESJ journalism school, Thomas joined AFP in 1994 as a reporter in Seine-Saint-Denis and Hauts-de-Seine near Paris. Since 1996 he has alternated between foreign postings and positions in Paris and the French regions. He has worked in Washington, London (where he was first a reporter then deputy bureau chief) and the French cities of Rennes and Tours. He became night editor in Paris in 2012 and since 2015 has worked in the human resources department with responsibility for journalists in France. He takes up his new position on August 1st.

Chantal Valery, 50, who takes over as Athens bureau chief in December, has held positions in Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux and Washington, where she worked on the French editing desk and reported on national security and justice. Since September 2015 she has been news editor at the Toulouse bureau.

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