Jean-Jacques Surbeck

A native French speaker, I was born in what was at the time the Belgian Congo (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo). My family moved to Geneva, Switzerland when I was 15 and I went on to earn a Law Degree from the University of Geneva. Followed a long career (almost 20 years) with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the agency that gave birth to the famous Geneva Conventions. In 1984, the ICRC sent me to its Liaison Office with the United Nations in New York, and from there I crisscrossed all of the US and Canada for several years giving lectures and seminars on International Humanitarian Law (the modern-day name for the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of the Victims of War). From that career, I moved on for another ten years into another one where I lectured and gave workshops  on the intricacies of the Middle East conflict. 

A dual American and Swiss national, I lived in New York, Tucson (AZ), San Diego and for the last two years San Francisco. Now retired, I volunteer with several non-profit organizations and was asked to teach the French for Travelers French workshop at the AFSF, which I am delighted to do as I have always had a passion for foreign languages and fully understand what wonderful vistas they open for the people who take the time and effort to learn them.

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