Staff in Paris

The Paris team is here to ensure that students get as much out of their time as possible. We supervise academics, find internships, manage housing, and organize various cultural activities.

Administrative staff

Renée Pontbriand, Director

Renee 2014

Renée completed her Masters in French with Middlebury College in Paris. She received her Bachelors of Arts in International Relations and French with Boston University and studied at the Université de Grenoble. With the program since 1991, she serves as executive manager of Boston University in Paris, bringing to bear experience in Study Abroad in Boston and in Grenoble. Her responsibilities span public relations, student services, communication, scheduling, budgeting, publications and alumni affairs.  She was founding Secretary of the Professional organization APUAF.
Read more about her in an interview with

Isabelle 2017
Isabelle Briere, Program Manager

Originally from Canada, Isabelle has been residing in France since 2005 and has 13 years of experience working in international education.  She joined the Paris study abroad office in 2006.   Her primary responsibilities include program preparation and on-site orientation and general office management. She is also the housing coordinator for all programs.   In this role, she ensures that students are successful in adapting to their new living situation while studying abroad. An active member of the APUAF (Associations of American University Programs in France), she is part of APUAF’s Housing Committee and in charge of organizing workshops related to housing topics.  Prior to joining BU Paris, Isabelle briefly lived in Tokyo, Japan teaching English as a second language. Isabelle completed her photography and darkroom studies at the Prairie View School of Photography in Winnipeg and her film studies at the University of Montreal, Canada.

Julia Pivniouk, Administrative Graduate Student


Julia graduated from Boston University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. In addition to speaking French, Julia speaks Russian and has extensively lived, worked and traveled abroad. She has professional experience working in non-profit organizations and at INGOs as well as in digital media planning and advertising for entertainment and government clients.  After doing the Teaching Assistant Program in Tours, France, in 2015-2016, Julia returned to France to pursue her Master studies in Communication at Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3.


Emmanuelle Farhi, Associate Academic Director

emmanuelleEmmanuelle holds the degree of DEA (Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies, equivalent of the ABD in the United States) from the Université de Paris IV Sorbonne in American literature, as well as an MA from the same institution. She is a staff technical translator for a number of publishing houses, notably JC Lattès & Michel Lafon. She has taught at Simmons College and Susquehanna University, as well as Boston University in Boston. She has been an active member of the program since its inception in 1989. She was appointed Associate Director of Studies in 2010, teaches CAS LF 302 Living French in Paris: Accent on Writing and monitors the internship report.

Laurence Blotnicki


Laurence holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne. Her main research  focused on the integration into the European Union of the Eastern European markets. She published extensively on this topic and consulted for French and international institutions. She is a senior researcher and project manager in socio-economic analysis at GREFFE (Groupement de recherches et d’études financières, fiscales et économiques). She also has extensive teaching and training experience in Economics both in local Universities, corporations and other study abroad programs in Paris (Duke, Cornell, consortium IES). She teaches CAS EC 361 Economic Development of Europe.


Jean-Philippe DEDIEU


Jean-Philippe is a CIRHUS Fellow at New York University. He  holds a MBA from the ESSEC Business School and a PhD in sociology from the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). His research focuses on political history and sociology of African diaspora. In addition to his contributions to The New Yorker and The New York Times, his academic articles appeared in African Issues, Black Renaissance, Critique Internationale, Droit & Société, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnologie Française, Foreign Affairs, Genèses, Politique Etrangère, and Revue Française de Science Politique. His first monograph La Parole Immigrée. Les Migrants Africains dans l’Espace Public en France (1960-1995) was published by Klincksieck in 2012. He received in 2015 a Weatherhead Initiative on Global History Fellowship at Harvard University. He teaches CAS HI 268/ LF 344  Postcolonial Paris; a cultural and political history of colonization and immigration in Paris.

Daniel Lesbachesdaniel

Daniel is an art gallery connoisseur and art market professional with executive responsibilities at the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Lyon, in similar establishments in Berlin, and more recently at the Galerie du Jour Agnès B in Paris. He has managed the publication of catalogues as well as numerous exhibitions and understands the complexities of promoting contemporary artists and their works. His teaching career reflects the experience of a practitioner and man in the field. His principal faculty appointment is with Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts where he trains young prospects and career converts to enter the world of art marketing with knowledge of art as history and art as investment. His fix on the key period of 1905 to 1915 is particularly insightful and informs in part the seminar he is teaching at Boston University Paris. Since 2007, Daniel teaches CAS AH 356 French Contemporary Art.

Tricia MeehanTM Photo

Tricia earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Detroit, a Graduate Diploma (History and Theory) from the Architectural Association, an MA (French Cultural Studies) from Columbia University and a PhD (Architecture) from the Université de Paris 8. Tricia is an Associate Professor at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Normandie in Urbanism and Urban Design. She also works as an architectural and urbanism docent with Context Travel in Paris. She is a licensed architect and has practiced primarily in Boston. Focused on the 20th century, her research interests include architectural criticism, deindustrialization and urban transformation (France & USA), and public architectural administration, policies and buildings in France. She teaches AH383, Paris Architecture & Urbanism.

Sophie Meritet


After receiving her PhD in Economics in 2000 from the Université Paris-Dauphine, Sophie worked 2 years in Houston Texas, as energy economist at the French Consulate and lecturer at University of Houston. Since 2002, she is Associate Professor in Economics at the Université Paris-Dauphine and researcher at the Centre de Géopolitique de l’Energie et des Matières Premières (CGEMP). She teaches microeconomics, industrial organization, antitrust, European economics and energy economics. She is also an affiliate professor at Sciences Po Paris where she is the director of an Executive Master “Energy Environment Regulation”. Responsible for a course at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées for 5 years, she also taught also at the Ecole Nationale de l’Administration in Strasbourg, American University in Paris and the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.   She teaches CAS EC 330 European Business Environment: Institutions & Enterprise.

Elisabeth Montfort-Siewert, Cultural Activities Coordinatormontfort

Elisabeth holds a DESS (Diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées) from the Université de Paris III Sorbonne  in “la formation des formateurs en FLE”, which gives her the status of teacher trainer. She also holds a MA in French as a Foreign language from the Université de Paris X Nanterre and a licence de Lettres Modernes (the equivalent of a BA in Modern Literature) from the same university. She has extensive teaching experience including assignments at the Sorbonne, Otto-Friedrich-Universitat Bamberg (Germany), Central College in Iowa, and the University of Chicago’s summer program. Elisabeth has been with the program for over 20 years and was recently promoted to cultural activities coordinator. She teaches CAS LF 320 Living French in Paris: Practical Communication and Current Culture (level 2), CAS LF 342 French Society through Theater, Cinema, and Music (theater section) and monitors the internship report.

Olivier Rozenbergolivier

Olivier  is associate research professor at Sciences-Po (Paris), in the Centre d’études européennes. He teaches at Sciences-Po and the Université Paris II. He has a number of articles and books to his credit and focuses his research on legislatures in France and in Europe. He has edited publications on parliamentary roles (Routledge 2012), questions (Routledge 2012), debates (LGDJ 2013) and opposition (La Documentation française 2013) in English or French. He also studies the Europeanisation of the French political system. He has been teaching CAS PO 240 Paris Politique since 2004 and teaches CAS PO 241/ IR 305 Comparative European Politics: France and Beyond in English.

Hanadi Sobh, Language Development Coordinatorhsobh1

Hanadi holds a Master’s in French as a Foreign Language, a special teaching degree earned at the Université de Paris X Nanterre and a licence de Lettres Modernes mention FLE. Her work for Boston University Paris, since 1999,  spans all of the course offerings with special emphasis on training students to prepare oral exposés, a key component of all classes. She teaches CAS LF 301 Living French in Paris: Accent on Speaking, CAS LF 342 French Society through Theater, Cinema, and Music (film & music section) and monitors the internship report.