Le Centre Manager's Biography

Philippe J. Gustin, International Trade Manager
Le Centre International de Lafayette
735 Jefferson Street
Lafayette, LA 70501

PHILIPPE J. GUSTIN, a native of Belgium and a teacher by education, is the Director of Le Centre International de Lafayette, the Lafayette Consolidated Government's International Trade Division. Prior to his arrival in Louisiana in 1974, Gustin spent three years in the Republic of the Congo, Africa.

Gustin then served as Director of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, a state agency, where he developed many international contacts, particularly with French-speaking countries. His networking skills and in-depth knowledge of Louisiana and Lafayette have proven to be valuable assets in Le Centre's efforts to promote international trade.

Gustin has led trade missions to Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Mexico and Russia since becoming Director of Le Centre, and has hosted hundreds of dignitaries and business people from many countries during their visits to Lafayette.

Gustin spearheaded the signing of a trade networking agreement with seven other cities from Europe and North America. The SESAME Network has since grown to encompass fourteen cities in various parts of the world.

Among the many honors which Gustin has received are the Canadian "Ordre des Francophones d'Amérique", and the French National Order of Merit.

Gustin is an honorary member of the Board of Directors and a member of the International Business Committee of the World Trade Center in New Orleans, and serves on the Louisiana District Export Council. He is a founding member of the International Trade Development Group, which serves as Advisory Board to Le Centre International, and serves as Vice President of the FONDATION LOUISIANE. He is currently Secretary General of the international SESAME Network, a group that unites 15 medium-sized cities from around the globe.

Philippe Gustin was one of the founders of Festival International de Louisiane, one of the largest international festivals in North America. Throughout 2007, he served as coordinator of “L’Année La Fayette 2007: The Spirit of the Marquis,” a series of events commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Marquis de La Fayette’s birthday. He also served as a member of the Steering Committee of the 2006 United States District Export Conference held in New Orleans.