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Barbara Fales de Bragança, La Médaille d’Or de Solidarité et Valeur

Barbara (Suki) de Bragança has had a passion for France and the French language and culture since her youth. She was raisedin Venezuela by American parents and mastered Spanish early, but her love of French was kindled by a sixth grade teacher who inspired her through French cuisine, film and fashion.

Her educational studies of French at Wheaton College (BA in 1977) led to a year abroad program with Smith College in Geneva in 1975-76, and she taught French to undergraduates while working on an MA in Comparative Literature from Florida Atlantic University between 1977-1979.

Suki was introduced to the Alliance Française as a student in Paris in 1972-73. Little did she know at the time that her adult life would center around the Alliance Française of Boston/Cambridge as President of the Board, and board member since 1988 with a position as Chairman of the Nominating Committee for the National Board of the Federation des Alliances Françaises, USA from 2010-2016.

As Chairman of the Bal du Printemps in Boston, she helped to stage “bals” with elaborate costumes and historic themes. This well-known annual event attracted many young people to the Alliance Française along with the social elite of Boston, resulting in additional funds for the school of the Alliance Française and its expansion. When the Alliance Française merged with the French Library (now known as the French Cultural Center), Suki remained active on the Board where she is to this day, creating a scholarship there for outstanding Teacher of the Year, along with a Mosaïque Cultural Committee and Fund to further enhance the cultural offerings at the FCC.

Suki was formerly active in groups such as the French Heritage Society and the Swan Society which she co-founded to assist the Curator of European Decorative Arts at the MFA, Boston. She has served as co-Chair of Literary Lights for Children at the Boston Public Library, and remains active as a Trustee at the New England Conservatory of Music, and as an Overseer Emeritus at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, France bestowed her with the Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite.

Suki and her husband Miguel have three children who have put their languages and service into action as citizens of the world. They reside a part of the year in Paris to allow direct contact with this country and culture that the entire family holds so dear - a tribute to the de Bragança heritage.


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