Albina du Boisrouvray. Photo: Karine Bauzin

Albina du Boisrouvray, Chair

Founder of Association François Xavier Bagnoud and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University 

Albina du Boisrouvray spent her childhood in New York and her adolescence traveling around the world. She started her professional career working as a freelance journalist, most notably for Le Nouvel Observateur, after studying at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Albina Productions, her film company founded in 1969, produced 22 movies in 18 years, including Les Zozos (1972) by Pascal Thomas, Police Python (1975) and Fort Saganne (1984) by Alain Corneau and L’important c’est d’aimer (1975) by Andrzei Zulawski. Alongside this, and together with Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo, Albina founded Libre in 1970, a literary magazine that published the works of Latin-American writers including Plinio Mendoza, Carlos Franqui, Octavio Paz, Claribel Allegria, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Carlos Fuentes. In 1985, the French Government appointed Albina du Boisrouvray Officer des Arts et des Lettres, in 2001 she was awarded Officer de la Légion d’Honneur and she became the first film producer to be awarded L’Ordre National du Mérite in 2009 and is now an Officer there. From 1981, Albina also chaired and managed SEGH, a family real estate and hotel properties group. 

In 1986, Albina’s only child François-Xavier, a search and rescue pilot, was killed in a tragic helicopter accident in Mali – aged just 24. This loss prompted Albina to walk away from her successful career as a film producer to champion the cause of the tens of millions of vulnerable women and children left in the wake of the devastating AIDS pandemic. After spending time two years with Médecins du Monde, during which she went on a mission to Lebanon during the 75/90 war, Albina devoted all her energy, creativity, experience and credibility as an entrepreneur to humanitarian causes, as well as social development and research on numerous projects worldwide. 

In 1989, she created the FXB Foundation and NGO FXB International in honor of François-Xavier, to perpetuate the values of generosity and compassion that had guided his life, and to keep his mission alive by also seeking to rescue people – some of the poorest on the earth. In 1991, Albina developed the FXBVillage program, a pioneering and holistic three-year program to eradicate extreme poverty in order to enable those families to raise orphans alongside their own children. This program marked an innovative iconoclastic step-change in the way aid was administered, delivering sustainable and self-sufficient change for people and communities.  

In 1993 Albina du Boisrouvray founded and endowed the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. Her goal was to show the harmful effects of human rights violations on children and to provide them with protection by furthering the health and human rights vision of the center’s first director Jonathan Mann. The center uses interdisciplinary approaches to also promote equity and dignity for those oppressed by racism, poverty, and stigma, nationally and around the world. 

Photo: Karine Bauzin.