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Appointments at AFP

Sophie Huet has been appointed deputy global news director 

Sophie Huet, 52, whose career in journalism spans 30 years, joined AFP in 1991.  After her first job at the Rennes bureau, she was posted to Washington and then London.  After serving as Marseille deputy bureau chief she became deputy editor-in-chief for France. In 2013, after four years in charge of the general news service, she trained in digital project design at the Gobelins School of the Image and took over as head of infographics and innovation. Sophie, now 52, represents AFP on the board of directors of Minds International, a network of 22 international news agencies.


Annie Thomas has been appointed deputy editor-in-chief              

Annie Thomas, 55, who has just been named deputy to global editor-in-chief Phil Chetwynd, spent the last three and a half years as head of the general news service in Paris. She previously covered the courts for general news and reported for the Lille, Lyon and London bureaux. Annie has served as editor-in-chief for Europe-Africa, as Dakar bureau chief, as head of shift on the France desk and as deputy bureau chief in Nairobi, covering the crises in Somalia, Burundi and Rwanda between 1993 and 1998.


Stéphane Arnaud has been appointed deputy editor-in-chief responsible for photo                          

Stéphane Arnaud, 44, began his career in the photo department of Libération and at the Imapress photo agency before joining AFP as a photo editorin May 2000.  With a master’s degree in history and a diploma from the École Supérieure de Journalisme in Paris, Stéphane became deputy head of the photo desk in June 2005.  Six months later he was named deputy editor-in-chief for photo in charge of Image Forum.  In January 2015, Stéphane became head of photo for Europe and held this post until being named deputy editor-in-chief with responsibility for photo in September 2016. 


Giles Hewitt has been named Asia-Pacific editor

Giles Hewitt, 53, was recruited by AFP Hong Kong in July 1990. A British national, he was born in India and graduated from the University of East Anglia in Norwich. From 1993 to 1997 Giles worked in AFP’s Beijing bureau.  This was followed by a posting to New Delhi as deputy bureau chief. From June 2002 Giles was in New York, returning to AFP’s Paris headquarters in the summer of 2006. He served as deputy head of the English desk until September 2008 when he returned to New Delhi as bureau chief. Four years later he became AFP’s Seoul bureau chief.  His responsibilities included covering news out of North Korea, where AFP recently became one of the few foreign media outlets to open a bureau.                                


David Williams has been appointed editor-in-chief for Europe

David Williams, 52, has dual UK and Australian nationality. After studying Spanish and Portuguese and literature at university he joined AFP’s Sydney bureau in 1993. Two years later he took up a posting at the Agency’s regional headquarters in Hong Kong.   In 1997 he moved to the Tokyo bureau, where he remained until 2000.  After several months on the English desk in Paris he was assigned to Washington to cover economic news.  In 2005 he was appointed head of the English desk in Paris and then deputy editor-in-chief.  David became Madrid bureau chief in 2010, returning to Paris four years later to take up a post in the editor-in-chief’s department.  In September 2015 he became AFP’s first Global English Economics Coordinator.


Pedro Ugarte has been appointed head of photo for Latin America                                  

Pedro Ugarte, 45, is originally from Chile. He began covering Central and Latin America for AFP in 1991, working out Nicaragua, Panama and Colombia. Then came a posting to Africa: Pedro went to the Nairobi bureau as head of photo in 2001.  In 2003 he was posted to Jerusalem as head of photo for Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  Highlights of Pedro’s career include covering the 2002 political crisis in Madagascar, the second intifada, Yasser Arafat’s funeral in 2004 and Israel’s departure from Gaza in 2005.  In 2007 he was posted to New Delhi as head of photo for South Asia – a job he did until the summer of 2011 when he was appointed head of photo for the Asia-Pacific region, based in Hong Kong.  Pedro has covered a number of Olympic Games and football World Cups.       


Mario Goldman has been appointed head of photo for the Middle East and North Africa

Mario, 59, joined AFP’s photo service in 1982, working first in the photo lab and then on the France photo desk.  He spent many years at the Montevideo regional headquarters, as deputy photo chief starting in 1999 and then regional head of photo from 2000 until 2008 when he returned to Paris to take up the post of editor-in-chief in charge of photo for France.  He was appointed regional photo head in Montevideo for a second time in 2012.


Isabelle Wirth has been named head of photo for Europe    

Isabelle, 44, began her career at AFP in 2000 as a hoto editor after earning a Diploma in Information and Communication and a DEA in Comparative Literature.  From August 2003 until the end of 2006 she was an editor on the Image Forum desk.  On 1st January 2007 she became deputy head of the photo desk.  In September 2011 she began a five-year stint in Berlin as head of photo for Germany, returning to Paris this summer.   Highlights of her career include covering the Olympic Games.                                


Jitendra Joshi has been appointed Global English Economics Coordinator

British journalist Jitendra Joshi, 43, graduated from Cambridge University. He began his career at AFP’s regional headquarters in Hong Kong in 1997 and was posted to Tokyo in 1999. After another stretch in Hong Kong from April 2001 to September 2002, he took up a posting in Brussels where he remained until February 2005.  He was then assigned to the Washington regional headquarters to cover economic news. During his time in the US, Jitendra followed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the 2008 campaign trail. In 2009 he returned to Hong Kong as head of the English desk and deputy editor-in-chief for Asia-Pacific.   


Emmanuel Parisse has been appointed Cairo Bureau Chief 

Emmanuel Parisse, 45, joined AFP’s international photo desk in May 1998 after studying history at university.  In September 2000 he was seconded to the Metz bureau as a reporter. After four years, Emmanuel returned to Paris where he worked for the General News service, covering pre-trial investigations by the Law Courts.  In September 2008 he was posted to Washington, where he spent four years covering Congress and US politics.   In the summer of 2012 he was assigned to the Rennes bureau as news editor.  In June 2014 Emmanuel was posted to Kabul as a special envoy, an assignment that lasted a year. He returned to Paris in the summer of 2015 as night editor in the global editor-in-chief’s department. 


Sophie Pons has been appointed head of the Bureau de Paris

Since joining AFP, Sophie Pons, now 53, has alternated foreign postings with jobs based in France.  After a brief stint on the Africa desk in Paris, Sophie moved to the Bordeaux bureau in 1988. In 1991 she took up a posting in Moscow, where she covered the August coup attempt, the fall of the communist party and the break-up of the Soviet Union. In 1995 she relocated to South Africa where Nelson Mandela had just been elected President.  After two years of freelancing she became news editor at the Bordeaux bureau before taking over as Prague bureau chief in 2005, just as the former eastern bloc countries were being integrated into the EU.  She took over as Rennes bureau chief in 2009, and three years later became a deputy in the editor-in-chief’s department where she was responsible for conducting a number of editorial projects.                           


Alain Bommenel has been appointed head of Infographics and Innovation

Alain, 54, began his AFP career after studying Political Science and attending CFJ. After working in Lille and then Reims (1987-2000) he focused on Africa, with a posting to Abidjan (1990-1993), a stint on the Africa Desk and four years as Algiers bureau chief (1994-1998). Under his management the Algiers bureau was awarded the Bayeux-Calvados War Correspondents prize for its coverage of the Algerian conflict.  In 2000 Alain took up a posting in Jakarta. On his return to Paris in 2004 he became deputy head of the Bureau de Paris. In May 2009, he joined the Web and Mobile service. In September 2013 he moved to Infographics and Innovation – the service he now heads. Alain has also been involved in setting up the IRIS editorial system, as training coordinator from May 2012 to September 2013.


Léon Bruneau has been appointed head of the International Desk

Léon Bruneau, 51, began his career at the ACP-Telpresse agency and joined AFP in 1995. After a year on the France Desk, this English-French bilingual journalist was posted to the Washington bureau where he helped set up the Francophone Desk.  He then covered Congress and the US elections as a political reporter. In 2002 he was posted to Brussels and spent four years covering NATO and European foreign and defence policy. After a brief stint on the Economics Desk he joined the Europe Desk as a slot person. In 2011 it was back to Washington – this time as deputy regional editor– a post he held for five years.



About AFP:

AFP is a global news agency delivering fast, accurate, in-depth coverage of the events shaping our world from conflicts to politics, sports, entertainment and the latest breakthroughs in health, science and technology. With 2,326 staff spread across almost every country, AFP covers the world 24 hours a day in six languages. AFP delivers the news in video, text, photos, multimedia and graphics to a wide range of customers including newspapers and magazines, radio and TV channels, web sites and portals, mobile operators, corporate clients as well as public institutions.

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