Meet Our Team

AFDC Staff


    Executive Director - Sarah DILIGENTI

    Sarah comes from a multicultural and multilingual family. She spent her childhood in the West Indies and arrived in Toulouse, France at age 6. She was educated in France and obtained an LLM in International Law in 1986 and a Master of Philosophy in Political Science at the University of Toulouse. Her thesis in 1988 covered History, War, and Cinema. She also passed two National Certifications to Teach French (1992) and English (1993) at the High School and University levels.

    Sarah moved to the US in 1995. She joined the Alliance in 2004 as a teacher, then in 2005 as Academic and Deputy Director, and finally in 2013 as Executive Director.

    Sarah is a 1984 Young Poet Laureate of the Académie des Jeux Floraux. She has published poems in anthologies in France and in the US and was invited to submit a text for a book written by 100 authors, published in October 2017 in Beirut, Lebanon. She is currently preparing to publish her first poetry chapbook for Fall 2018 and is writing a series of short stories as well as her first novel.

    She was a Founding Director of Word Fest, the Annual DC International Poetry Festival and sat on its Board from 2001 to 2006. Sarah was invited on the Diane Rehm Show in 2009 to speak about The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a literary phenomenon in France.

    She was president of Washington Accueil Association, -an association dedicated to helping French and francophone expatriates coming to live in the Greater Washington area- from 1998 to 2000 and founded a book club in 1997, “Avid Readers in DC” to introduce American Literature to French expatriates, which she managed until 2014.

    In January 2017, Sarah was made a Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms, the oldest non-military distinction of the French Republic. Presented by the French Ministry of Education, it recognizes those who have rendered eminent service to French education and have contributed actively to the prestige of French culture. Sarah was recognized specifically for her continuous efforts in the promotion of the French language and to her commitment to grow the Alliance Française D.C. as the premier French Cultural and Language Center in the Nation’s Capital.

  • Ameneh MADJLESSI

    Deputy and Academic Director - Ameneh MADJLESSI

    Originally from Iran, Ameneh learned the French language at the age of 3 in Belgium where her father was a diplomat. After doing a BA in French/Persian Translation and interpretation in Tehran, she obtained a Master 2 FLE (French as a Foreign Language) from the Université Stendhal in Grenoble, France. She moved back to Iran after her Master’s. She founded her own private language school and linguistic lab in Tehran and taught French at all levels. She also worked as a French Instructor and Administrator at the Service de Coopération et d’Action Culturelle (Cultural Services) of the French Embassy in Tehran. In 2004, she moved to DC and started work as a teacher at Alliance Francaise of Washington in September 2005 until November 2013. She also taught French at the World Bank from 2006 to 2016; she was an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University from 2010 to 2016 and has been adjunct Lecturer at Georgetown University since September 2015. She came back to AFDC in October 2016 as Deputy and Academic Director. 

  • Kelsey HAMMER

    Director of Library Programs - Kelsey HAMMER

    Originally hailing from Colorado, Kelsey has been in the AFDC Library for the past 6+ years. A lifelong lover of books and libraries, Kelsey worked in the University of Denver’s library all throughout undergrad before joining the AF Library in DC. With degrees in French, Criminology, and a minor in International Studies, being a part of the AFDC has been a great compliment to her studies. Recent favorite reads include Soleil by David Bouchet. When not reading, you can find Kelsey exploring any number of used book stores and trying to befriend as many dogs and cats as possible.

  • Natasha BOLLIER

    Director of Cultural Programs & Social Media - Natasha BOLLIER

    Originally from Russia, Natasha studied and worked in Paris for three years before moving to the United States in the summer of 2017. She received a Master’s degree in International Relations and Interpreting in Russia, as well a Master’s in International Affairs and Intercultural Communication at the Université Paris Nanterre. Natasha has been teaching and tutoring Russian, English and French for many years, and traveled a lot among Russia, Finland and France before settling down in Washington. She is very grateful for the opportunity to maintain her ties with French culture and language. When not at work, Natasha is fond of chatting over a cup of tea (and a couple of croissants), going off to discover a new place or visit old friends, skiing, or trying out a new recipe.

  • Liz NUTI

    Controller - Liz NUTI

    Liz Nuti graduated from George Washington University with a BBA. She is the Founder and President of Accounting and Tax Solutions, Inc. She is an an EA (Enrolled Agent) and has years of experience as an IRS registered tax preparer. Liz's dog is a Bichon frisé whose name is Bisous (Kisses in French).

  • Sandrine ATANGANA

    Executive Assistant to the Executive Director - Sandrine ATANGANA

    Sandrine embodies a rich multicultural heritage, originating from the Papala tribe in Angola, part Yaoundé, Cameroon, and the Makela tribe of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite her African roots, she was born in the vibrant city of Paris, France, and spent her formative years there.

    Her academic achievements include an MBA and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Languages and International Studies. Fluent in French, Sandrine's diverse interests encompass travel, hot vinyasa yoga, music, fashion, language acquisition, and fostering positive vibes. She has notions of Russian, German, and Lingala. She's alaso a devoted companion to her beloved dog, Mazu.

  • Fanny OWHOKA

    Youth Programs Coordinator - Fanny OWHOKA

    Born and raised in a cozy little village in Burgundy, France, Fanny has loved traveling for as long as she can remember. It was during her undergraduate studies in LLCER (Regional and Foreign Languages, Literatures and Civilizations) that she seized the opportunity to embark on an ERASMUS exchange program in Poland. This experience served as a turning point, making her realize that her future would be abroad.

    During her Masters' in FLE (Teaching French as a Foreign Language), she was fortunate to work at the Alliance française in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Her time there was so enriching that she returned, this time to Zanzibar, taking on the role of Director of Studies. Fanny continued her passion for teaching to individuals of all ages and proficiency levels.

    Afterwards, Fanny's journey led her to the United States, where she decided to make her new home in Virginia. Now settled there, she finds joy simply being outside with her furry friend, Sushi. She also loves exploring the great outdoors through hiking, indulging her taste buds with various culinary adventures, and satisfying her wanderlust by traveling whenever the opportunity arises.

  • Patrick MOUMIET

    Education Admin Assistant - Patrick MOUMIET

    Born in Gabon and raised in France, Patrick relocated to the United States in the winter of 2021. He earned a Master's Degreee in Organizational Economics from the University of Grenoble and subsequently worked for Canva, a tech startup. After a few years, he transitioned into building an online following as a content creator, assisting businesses in enhancing their visibility. When he is not working to help students succeed at the Alliance Française of Washington DC, he dedicates his free time to learning Mandarin and reading science books.


    Adult Academics Coordinator, Certifications Coordinator - Julie CAZALY-TUCKER

    Julie was born and raised in the South of France. After obtaining a B.A. in Modern Literature and Linguistics, she received her Master's in FLE (Teaching French as a Foreign Language) from the University of Aix-Marseille. She then obtained a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages at the University of Lancaster, UK.

    Julie has worked as a teacher and a certified examiner for DELF-DALF and TCF. She is also a qualified trainer for TV5-MONDE. She started to work at the Alliance française od Washington DC first as a French teacher before joining the administrative team this fall, in charge of Certifications, Private Classes for Adults and coordinating the Adult Academics.

    When she is not eating cheese, bread, or chocolate, Julie can be found working out (she is a fan of Pilates), reading contemporary literature and watching reruns of the Friends TV Show. Since moving to DC, Julie also rediscovered her love of tennis and has been playing once a week with friends after a 15-year hiatus. Look out for her at Roland Garros next year...! 

  • Bangaly CAMARA

    Saturday Receptionist - Bangaly CAMARA

    Bangaly was born in the US but grew up in Africa. He loves travels and learning about new cultures. He has visited all continents and speaks 5 languages fluently. He lived most of his life in Senegal, where his family roots are. He spent his high school years in Lyon, France and later completed his Bachelor's Degre in Political Science in Quebec City, Canada.

    Bangaly is particularly passionate about Francophone African and Latin American Literatures. When he is not working at Alliance Française of Washington, he can be found watching historical documentaries or cooking.

AFDC Instructors



Ghislaine AKHAVI
Adults (Beginner Specialist)
Achille ANGO
Do Ré Mi (Musical Storytime)
Adults, Kids & Teens (Sub Teacher)
Kids & Teens, Private
Kids & Teens, Adults
Neena BANSAL Adults, Private
Olga BAUER Adults, Private
Flora BERREFAS Adults, Kids & Teens, Private
Christel BROWN de COLSTOUN Youth
Vincent BRUDO Adults
Bangaly CAMARA Adults and Youth, Camps
Julie CAZALY-TUCKER (DELF/DALF) Certifications, Private Classes & Adult Programs Coordinator
Nawal CHAOUI LAHLOU Adults, Private
Jocelyne DO SACRAMENTO Adults, Private
Isabelle DUPEUX-EUNSON Adults
Bassima EL MASRI (DELF/DALF) Kids & Teens, Adults
Nabiha ETTAYEBI Kids & Teens, Camps
Jennifer GORE Translation Specialist, Adults
Stéphanie GUERIN Adults
Frédéric HOCDE Judo for Kids
Christian HOMMEL Literature, Actualites, Adults
Mariia KADYKALO Adults
Ernest KAMBA (DELF/DALF) Kids & Teens, Adults
Anne Tulin KERIMOL MCCLAIN-CALDWELL Kids & Teens, Adults
Zohreh MIRSHARIF Adults, Kids & Teens
Véronique MOUILLESEAUX Adults
Alain NOUET Adults, Private, Corporate
Bernadette NTSAME Youth
Fanny OWHOKA (DELF/DALF) Youth Programs Coordinator, Adult Teacher
Caleb PALFREYMAN Camps, Private, Kids & Teens
Claudine PARLOFF Adults, Kids & Teens (FLAM)
Eric PEDURAND Adults and Teens
Voahangy Joela RANAIVO Adults, Kids & Teens
Calie RERODO Adults, Private
Sidiki TRAORÉ (DELF/DALF) Adults
Magali VIENS-KOLB Adults and Youth
Sandrine VONGY Adults, Kids & Teens
Véronique WHITNEY (DELF/DALF) Adults, Private