Alliance Française de la Nouvelle-Orléans

  • 6000+

    Students served in the New Orleans region since 1984.
  • 800

    Alliance Française locations worldwide in more than 136 countries.
  • 98%

    Exam success rates including the DELF/DALF achieved by Alliance Française chapters US-wide.
  • 10,000+

    Hours taught by native speaking teachers with an average class size of 8 students.

About the Alliance Française

Promoting knowledge and appreciation of the French language and Francophone cultures in New Orleans since 1984.

The Alliance Française of New Orleans, is one of the leading providers of French language and culture education in the New Orleans area. Governed by a local nonprofit board, The Alliance Francaise of New Orleans is a member of the international network of Alliance Française chapters. Founded in 1883 in Paris by a group of eminent thinkers, including the scientist Louis Pasteur, the diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps, the writers Jules Verne and Ernest Renan, and the publisher Armand Colin, the Alliance Française is the largest network of French language and cultural centers in the world.

Meet Our Staff

Audrey Nikitine

Executive Director

A native of France, Audrey fell in love with New Orleans during an amazing – and too short – trip in 2014. Before coming to New Orleans, she was a civil servant in France for more than 15 years, with roles in culture, education, languages and nonprofit organizations. Audrey is looking forward to promoting the French and francophone language and culture, for and with this warm and wonderful community.

Melissa Benitez

Administrative Coordinator

Native New Orleanian and Tulane graduate, Melissa, has lived and worked in various countries including Japan, Switzerland, Mauritius, Italy, and settled in France for almost 15 years. Melissa is an entrepreneur with experience in a multitude of fields ranging from Medical Administration, Marketing, and IT Project Management Consulting to International Spa Consulting. Melissa maintains a long distance love affair with France and her heart remains eternally split between New Orleans and Paris.

Rachel Brandsness

Events/Communications Coordinator

Originally from Oregon, Rachel spent 8 years based in Nashville, TN touring the US as a guitarist and working in studios, after which she shifted her focus to web design and worked while traveling in Canada and Europe, eventually landing in New Orleans. Rachel started learning French at the AFNO shortly after her arrival and took the opportunity to join the team officially in 2017. Rachel's interests include geeking out over French grammar, 70's rock and roll, and burritos.

AFNO Board of Directors

Alexandre Vialou


Dr. Elizabeth Rhodes

Vice President

Pamela Pryor Bonner


Joseph Dunn


Eric Bellin

Marianne Everard Burns

Dr. Marie Françoise Crouch

Jennie Westerman Diemont

Dessa Rutter Griffin

Katrina Greer

Shauna Grissett

Michael Harold

Daniel Henderson

Scherri Horaist

Giovanna Joseph

Anne McCall

Philip Mollere

Meagan Moreland

Rick C. Normand

Marina Schoen

Jacqueline Simon

Annie Orillac Thibodeaux

Dr. Terry Voorhies

Presidents Emeritus

Cecile Andry

Norma Grace

Christine R. LeBlanc

Claude Schlesinger

E. Alexandra Stafford

Julia Ingraham Walker

What will you discover with AFNO?

"In 2014 I started taking French classes at AFNO to prepare for a trip to France to meet the French side of my husband's family.

Thanks to the Alliance, I've now lost my fear of learning a foreign language."

Scherri - 3rd year French student

"My overall experience at AFNO has been wornderful.

The classes are unique in that they are taught by native speakers who share a great deal about French culture."

Cathy - 2nd year French student