French Heritage Society (FHS) is an American nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the French architectural and cultural legacy in France and the United States. Our generous patrons help us ensure that these treasures survive to inspire future generations by supporting the three key areas of our mission – Preservation, Education and Cultivation of French-American Friendship.
Preservation FHS raises funds to support the preservation of culturally and historically significant French architecture in France and the U.S. To date, FHS has awarded nearly $15 million in grants to over 670 châteaux, historic properties and gardens. FHS also creates special funds for emergency restoration efforts, which have provided critical support following the fire at Notre-Dame in Paris and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Education Each year, FHS selects and sends around 24 students from universities in France and the U.S. across the Atlantic for internships at esteemed organizations. Since the program’s inception, over 550 students have benefited from these opportunities.
The Richard Morris Hunt Prize, which was founded in 1990 in partnership with The Architects Foundation, fosters and supports cross-cultural professional exchange for architects between France and the U.S. Two French or American laureates are selected each year.
French-American Friendship FHS’s network includes ten chapters across the U.S. and one in Paris and collectively, they organize over 50 events each year to raise local awareness and funds for FHS’s mission. In addition, the FHS community comes together for annual fundraising galas in New York, Palm Beach and Paris. FHS is also known for the specially curated trips to France that it offers its members every year.
Mrs. Elizabeth Stribling has served as Chairman of the Board of French Heritage Society since 2007 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2002. She founded the real estate brokerage of Stribling & Associates in 1980, and on April 1st, 2019 sold it to Compass, a national brokerage, where she is Vice Chairman, New York Development. Elizabeth Stribling is highly regarded as a business and civic leader. She was honored as the “Woman of Achievement” by the American Cancer Society in 2007 and has received the Spirit of Achievement Award at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, National Women’s Division, New York Chapter. In 2005, she was a Corporate Honoree at the French Consulate in support of the Morris-Jumel Mansion. She was also Corporate Honoree at The Winter Ball of The Junior League of New York in 2004 and has previously received the “Henry Forster Award” for Outstanding Achievement and Conduct within the Residential Brokerage Profession of New York City. In 2018, she received the Bernard Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award from the Real Estate Board of New York for exceptional service to the real estate industry and professional accomplishments. She also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate in 2018.
She is a recipient of the French National Order of Merit with the rank of Officer as well as being awarded in 2012 the rank of Officer in the Legion of Honor by the French Government. In 2018, she was promoted to the grade of Commandeur in the Legion of Honor and hopes to be decorated with this award in the near future.
Elizabeth Stribling is currently on the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York. She is a former Trustee of The Hewitt School in New York City, from which she graduated. She received a BA cum laude from Vassar College, and did graduate work at Girton College, Cambridge University.
Mrs. Stribling is currently on the Board of Directors of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, the Women’s Committee of Central Park Conservancy, and the American Hospital of Paris. Mrs. Stribling and her husband, Guy Robinson, have graciously received FHS trip participants at their homes in New York, l’Île de la Cité in Paris, and in the South of France. They are also the founding members of FHS’s Ambassadors Circle.
David M. Gray, Ph.D; OBE David Gray has served as the Treasurer of the French Heritage Society for many years. Early in his career, he was a Professor of International Relations at several universities, including Arcadia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Drew University. He later served as both Executive Vice President and Director of International Programs at Arcadia University (formally Beaver College). Subsequently, he co-founded the Institute for Study Abroad, which became the largest university-based study abroad organization in the United States. He presently serves as Chairman and CEO of the Study Abroad Foundation, which operates study abroad programs for Asian students in English-speaking countries. For his pioneer work in international education, he received Honorary Fellowships from Queen Mary College, University of London, and London Guildhall University. In 2008 he was awarded an OBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, II.
Denis de Kergorlay is a graduate of the Institut d’Études Politiques and holds a law degree from the Université d’Assas. A former lecturer at the Institut International d’Administration Publique in Paris, he was also the cultural attaché at the French Embassy in Thailand.
He returned to France in 1978 to take over the management of the Château de Canisy, his family estate in Normandy, which he has transformed into a private historic site open for prestigious gatherings with an international character (symposia, concerts, seminars). His volunteer activities have included involvement with the humanitarian NGO Médecins Sans Frontières for over 10 years.
Comte Denis de Kergorlay began his presidency of the French Heritage Society in 2008. He has generously hosted receptions for American and French members in France, and has travelled to many regions throughout the U.S. to participate in FHS Chapter events.
He is also Executive President of Europa Nostra, the European Federation of Heritage NGO’s present in more than forty European countries and President of the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée in Paris. He has also served as Vice President of the La Demeure Historique – French heritage organization partner of FHS.
Jennifer Herlein joined French Heritage Society as its Executive Director in 2017 and has led the organization through successful 35th and 40th Anniversary celebrations. She is responsible for shaping and implementing FHS’s strategic vision in the U.S. and France and leading a team that includes staff in NYC and Paris and Chapter Chairs in 10 U.S. cities and 1 in Paris.
Prior to joining FHS, Jennifer managed development events at French Institute Alliance Française in NYC where she oversaw the Trophée des Arts Gala that honored Jeff Koons and Jean-Paul Agon. Before relocating to NYC, Jennifer lived in Chicago where she was the Executive Director at Fulcrum Point New Music Project. She also served as the Public and Governmental Affairs Officer at the Quebec Government Office in Chicago, facilitating relationships between cultural and academic entities in Quebec and the U.S. Additional experience includes being the donor-related special events liaison for the Chancellor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and establishing a multi-faceted cultural programs department at Alliance Française de Chicago.
Jennifer has an MBA with a focus on marketing and international business from the University of Illinois along with an MA in French Studies and a BA in French and English from The University of Iowa. Beyond her professional accomplishments, Jennifer is fluent in English and French and passionate about travel, having visited over 40 countries.
A historic association of private monuments who represents more than 3,000 châteaux, manors, abbeys, or mansions throughout France, and advises owners about sustainability and promotes historic preservation and cultural heritage.
The organization participates in funding for heritage; identifys buildings in peril; encourages partnerships on a national and local level, and with companies; and promotes job creation and the transmission of trades and know-how.