Albina du Boisrouvray

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Albina du Boisrouvray
Born 1941
Paris, France
Nationality French
Education University of Sorbonne
Organization FXB International
Children François-Xavier Bagnoud (1961-1986)
Parent(s) Countess Luz Mila Patiño Rodríguez, Count Guy comte du Boisrouvray[1]

Albina du Boisrouvray (born 1941) is a former journalist and film producer who has become a global philanthropist and social entrepreneur working with AIDS victims and impoverished communities around the world.[2] She is the founder of FXB International, a non-governmental organization established in memory of her son, François-Xavier Bagnoud.[3]

Du Boisrouvray is the grandchild of the Bolivian King of Tin, Simón Patiño. She is the cousin of Prince Rainier of Monaco and godmother to Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

She is the daughter of Luz Mila Patiño Rodríguez, wife of Count Guy comte du Boisrouvray (died 1980). Her maternal grandfather was Simón Patiño, one of the wealthiest men in the world at the time of her birth.[5][6]

Her father was part of the Free French movement and her family left the country while she was an infant. Du Boisrouvray grew up in New York City and lived at the Plaza Hotel. Her family later moved to Argentina, and du Boisrouvray lived alone in Switzerland, Morocco, England and back to France.[7]

Du Boisrouvray attended University of Sorbonne in Paris where she studied psychology and philosophy.[8]


Du Boisrouvray began her career as a journalist.[4] She worked as a freelance journalist for Le Nouvel Observateur, covering international stories such as the death of Che Guevara.[5] She later co-founded the literary magazine Libre with Juan Goytisolo.[9]

She founded a film production company, Albina Productions, in 1969 and is credited with producing 22 films over a period of 17 years. These films include Pascal Thomas' first film, Les Zozos (1972), L'important c'est d'aimer and Une Femme a sa fenêtre, both of which starred Romy Schneider, and Fort Saganne (1984), directed by Alain Corneau and starring Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve and Sophie Marceau.[10][9][11] Police Python 357 (1976) notably was one of the few films which starred Yves Montand and Simone Signoret, a well-known couple, in the same film.[12] Du Boisrouvray began serving as the chairperson of SEGH, her family's real estate and hotel management group, in 1980.[8]

FXB International[edit]

Following the death of her only child, du Boisrouvray sold a large part of her assets including a jewelry collection auctioned by Sotheby's in New York for $31.2 million, an art collection of $20 million, and a substantial part of her family real-estate business which garnered $50 million.[13] The Sotheby's auction was the largest jewelry sale since the Duchess of Windsor's auction. The sale included pre-Colombian gold, jade and other notable pieces accumulated by the noble French family.[14] Du Boisrouvray gave part of the funds generated by the auction to charities including an at home palliative care program for the terminally ill in Switzerland, a rescue helicopter control centre in the Swiss Alps, and a professorship at the University of Michigan (her son's alma mater). The rest of the funds were used to found FXB International and the FXB Foundation in memory of her son, François-Xavier Bagnoud, a search-and-rescue pilot who died while serving as a transport pilot in Mali during the Paris-Dakar rally in 1986.[15]

The mission of FXB International is to fight poverty and AIDS, and support orphans and vulnerable children left in the wake of the AIDS pandemic. FXB International offers comprehensive support to the families and communities that care for these children, and advocates for their fundamental rights.[16] The organization has helped over 17 million people[9] from programs in more than 100 countries, with a staff of over 450.[17] In 1993, du Boisrouvray founded the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University.[9] She is also the creator of the FXBVillage Methodology, a community-based, sustainable approach to overcoming the AIDS orphans crisis and extreme poverty. Each FXBVillage supports 80-100 families, comprising approximately 500 individuals, mostly children. Over a three-year period, FXB provides communities with the resources and training needed to become physically, financially and socially independent.[15] According to FXB, the FXBVillage program has graduated over 66,000 participants from eight countries and has over 15,000 current participants.[17]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Du Boisrouvray was made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1985.[18] In 1993, the University of Michigan conferred upon her a "Doctor of Humane Letters Degree,"[19] and she was made a "John Harvard Fellow" by Harvard University in 1996.

She received a Special Recognition Award for "Responding to the HIV/AIDS Orphan crisis" at the second conference on Global Strategies for the prevention of HIV transmission from mothers to infants in Montreal, in September 1999. In 2001, Harvard students presented her with the "Harvard Project for International Health and Development Award".[10]

Her philanthropy and humanitarian efforts earned her a knighthood of the Légion d'Honneur in 2001 for her pioneering work in home palliative care projects.[9] Also in 2001, because of the innovative cost-effective projects that she formulated and directed within FXB, she was selected as a member of the Social Entrepreneurs Group of the Schwab Foundation. This recognition enables the 54 social entrepreneurs of the group to participate in the Davos World Economic Forum and to present and to share their expertise with world business leaders in the civil and public sectors.[8]

She was awarded the 2002 North-South Prize by the Council of Europe. In November 2003, du Boisrouvray received the "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the 4th International Conference on AIDS in India, in recognition for the projects that she initiated in the 35 States and Territories of India. In 2007, the French Fédération nationale des Clubs Convergences gave her an award for her activities on behalf of orphans and vulnerable children affected by AIDS in the world.

In April 2009, French President Nicolas Sarkozy presented du Boisrouvray with the insignia of Officer in l'Ordre National du Mérite. The President honoured Albina and her work, saying "Your NGO is a model throughout the world. You are a woman involved. Your solidarity is exemplary and that is why the Republic will distinguish you." She is the first film producer to be awarded L'Ordre National du Mérite.[18] In June 2009, du Boisrouvray received the BNP Paribas Jury's Special Prize.

In 2013, the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) awarded du Boisrouvray their KISS Humanitarian Award which recognizes individuals with exceptionally high contribution to society and who have distinguished themselves as humanitarians.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Du Boisrouvray was married twice, first to Swiss aviator Bruno Bagnoud and second to French film producer Georges Casati, whom she divorced in 1982.[21] She met Bagnoud while living in Valais. They were married for four years and had one son together, François-Xavier Bagnoud, born in 1961.[7][10]

She lives in Portugal, near Lisbon, part of the year and has homes in Paris, New York and Switzerland.[5]


  1. ^ Muchnic, Suzanne (25 October 1989). "Du Boisrouvray Collection on Block Thursday". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  2. ^ Honigsbaum, Mark (17 March 2015). "How a determined French countess helps Burma's Aids orphans". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ Skari, Tala (20 April 2003). "One Woman's Wealth Of Care". TIME Magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Maule, Alicia (9 December 2014). "Countess du Boisrouvray: We can rely on women to change the world". MSNBC. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Blackhurst, Chris (17 August 2014). "Countess Albina Du Boisrouvray: ‘We’re dealing with people who have absolutely nothing’". The Independent. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  6. ^ Goldberg, Mark Leon (4 May 2015). "Episode 63: Albina du Boisrouvray". UN Dispatch. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Magnier, Mark (7 April 2013). "French countess is key advocate for AIDS patients in Myanmar". Los Angles Times. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c Dain, Rebecca (2005). "Interview with Ms. Albina du Boisrouvray" (PDF) 9 (4). The UN Women's Newsletter. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Tobin, Anna (25 July 2014). "The tragedy that led a countess to spend $100m fighting poverty". The Financial Times. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "Countess Albina du Boisrouvray". Harvard University School of Public Health. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  11. ^ Filmography, IMDb
  12. ^ Downs, Cécile Mouette (January 10, 2012). "Top Five Legendary Film Couples". France Today. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  13. ^ A one-woman crusade, July 2000
  14. ^ Reif, Rita (October 20, 1989). "Auctions". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 October 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Bahree, Megha (May 29, 2009). "It Takes a Business". Forbes. 
  16. ^ DeCapua, Joe (April 29, 2010). "Rebuilding Lives after War and Rape in the DRC". VOA News. 
  17. ^ a b "About FXB International: The NGO". FXB International. 
  18. ^ a b Sng, Jeffery (13 August 2006). "The countess of concern". Star Media Group. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "The Michigan Alumnus" 3. University of Michigan. August 1993. p. 16. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  20. ^ "Albina du Boisrouvray gets KISS Humanitarian Award". Breaking News. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  21. ^ Rosen, Marjorie (17 January 1994). "Lady Bountiful". People Magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2015.