Keynote Speaker

Joseph Dunn

Joseph Dunn headshot

For more than 25 years, Joseph’s in-depth knowledge of the varied cultures, languages, and heritages of Louisiana have afforded him work at the highest levels of the state’s cultural and tourism industries.

Prior to beginning his freelance work in 2014, Joseph was the Executive Director of the Council on the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) from 2011 to 2014. He had previously worked at the Consulate General of France in Louisiana, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, the Office of Cultural Development of Louisiana, the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, Laura Plantation, and the Louisiana Office of Tourism.

From 1996 to 2005, Joseph worked as Marketing and Public Relations Director for Laura Plantation, well known among French speakers for its outreach and work in the French language. In 2004 and 2005, Joseph was an invited consultant and workshop leader for bilingual guides and interpreters of the Canadian National Park System, the only American to participate. Following the 2005 hurricanes, his bilingual skills led him to work in various state government agencies where he assisted in the rebuilding of cultural and tourism organizations around the state.

During his service in the Office of Cultural Development and subsequently with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Joseph played an important role in the development of the World Cultural Economic Forum. He also served as a member of the Louisiana Delegation to the Francophonie Summit in Québec in 2008. Later, as Executive Director of CODOFIL, Joseph spearheaded the renegotiation of bilateral agreements on culture and education between Louisiana and the governments of France and French-speaking Belgium. It was during this mission in Paris in 2012 that he was able to speak with S.E. Abdou Diof, then Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), on the role of Louisiana in the French-speaking world. In 2018, he participated in the drafting of Louisiana’s application for candidacy for the state to become an observer member of the OIF.

A regular conference presenter and workshop facilitator, Joseph has also participated in tourism, economic, and political missions in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe. He is a recognized thought leader in the French and Creole language movement in Louisiana. He is often quoted in the press and appears frequently on French-language radio and television programs. He holds an official Tour Guide Permit as required by the City of New Orleans.

Joseph is particularly interested in projects that focus on the social, professional, and economic valorization of French and Creole speakers in Louisiana of all ages. He dreams of creating a Franco-Creole ecosystem in Louisiana, linking educational efforts of all levels to the professional world.

Having previously provided services to the cities of New Orleans, Louisiana and Orléans, France, Joseph’s current clients include Laura: Louisiana’s Creole Heritage Site, the Louisiana Consortium of Immersion Schools, Télé-Louisiane, and many others.

In recognition for his work, Joseph was knighted by the Republic of France as a Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Mérite in November of 2021 and was inducted into the Ordre des Francophones d’Amérique by Québec’s Ministry of the French Language in 2022.