France Desmarais | Brunswick Group
France Desmarais

France Desmarais

Partner, Abu Dhabi – Head of Brunswick Arts Gulf

With global experience in high impact positions, France Desmarais brings 25 years of institutional creation, strategic development and change management in diverse, complex public and private cultural organisations. As an executive arts and heritage leader, she has transformed and established institutions, while navigating through crises, and raising and managing important funds in the process.

Until the end of 2021, she was a Senior Museums Director in Saudi Arabia, leading the creation of new museum institutions, and spearheading a World Heritage Site.

Prior to that, she helped set-up a new public-private foundation with international organisation status in Switzerland, serving as Founding Scientific Director and Deputy Executive Director of the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH).

It is as a Director at the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in Paris, where she was spokesperson of the organisation, handled all museum- and heritage-related matters and represented the NGO on the global stage, including through its consultative status to the different UNESCO Conventions, that she created an International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods and co-drafted the latest UNESCO normative instrument on museums and collections.

Previously, France was a development executive and Head of Strategic Initiatives at the McCord Museum in Montreal, and a lecturer at Lebanese University. Throughout her career, France sat on several Board of Directors and Scientific Committees. She is currently a member of the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund’s Advisory Body.