John Rossant

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John Rossant
Born January 29, 1955
New York City
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Wisconsin-Madison
Occupation Chairman
Employer New Cities Foundation
Spouse(s) Antonella Caruso
Children Jordan, Matteo, and Alexandre
Parent(s) Murray Rossant, Naima Landman
Relatives James Rossant, Juliette Rossant, Susie Orbach, Colette Rossant

John Rossant (born January 29, 1955) is the founder and Chairman of the New Cities Foundation, one of the leading organizations looking at the future of the urban world.[1] He is also the Managing Partner of Rossant & Partners LLC., the global advisory firm based in New York and Paris.

Early life and education[edit]

Rossant was born and brought up in New York City, the second son Murray Rossant and Naima Landman. His father was a journalist, who worked for Business Week, served on the Editorial Board on the New York Times, and later headed the progressive public policy group, the Twentieth Century Fund (now known as The Century Foundation).

After graduating from Collegiate School on New York’s Upper West Side in 1972, he was admitted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he achieved a BA (Hons) in 1977.[2] Interested in the Middle East and Classical Arabic, he obtained a CASA postgraduate scholarship to study at the American University of Cairo in Egypt, completing his course in 1978.[3]

Journalism career[edit]

On returning to New York from Egypt, he became a journalist: his first full-time job was as the Riyadh-based correspondent of Arab News, the English-language daily newspaper in Saudi Arabia, from 1979 to 1981. This was a particularly turbulent period in the Middle East which saw the Second Oil Shock and the 1979 assault by Islamist extremists on the Great Mosque of Mecca – both events covered extensively by Rossant. Rossant returned to the US, where he helped found a newsletter on the global energy market, Petroleum Information International, before joining the staff of BusinessWeek in 1983. In 1984, he was then posted to Paris as BusinessWeek correspondent, where he remained until 1989, when he moved to Italy as BusinessWeek's Rome Bureau Chief and Middle Eastern Correspondent. After spending a decade in the Italian capital, he returned to Paris in 1999 as BusinessWeek's European Editor, managing the correspondents and support staff of the magazine’s four Europe-based news bureaus until 2005.[2]

During his tenure as Europe Editor of BusinessWeek, Rossant took a year’s sabbatical in order to write a biography of the Saudi Arabian businessman and investor Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. He spent most of the year traveling around the world with the Prince, but the manuscript was never published, possibly due editorial differences between Prince Al-Waleed and Rossant.[dubious ]

During his career as a journalist and bureau chief, Rossant received several prizes in recognition of his work, including the Overseas Press Club Award, in 1989 and 1993, and the German Marshall Fund Peter Weitz Award, in 2000 and 2003.[4]

Publicis Groupe and PublicisLive[edit]

In 2005, Rossant was appointed Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs of Paris-based Publicis Groupe, one of the world's largest communications holding companies.[5] He also became a member of Publicis Groupe’s Executive Committee.

In 2008, Rossant became Executive Chairman of the global events management company PublicisLive.[6] Based in Geneva, it is best known for producing the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, the brainchild of Klaus Schwab who launched the first edition back in 1971. Shortly after Rossant’s arrival in Geneva, the WEF signed a seven-year exclusive contract with PublicisLive.[7] PublicisLive also has been responsible for the production of various regional editions of the WEF, such as in the Middle East, Dalian in China and in South America.

In March 2010, Rossant oversaw the successful launch of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit (ADMS), inspired by the successful formula of the Monaco Media Forum, which Rossant had founded in 2006 in a collaboration he put together with Prince Albert II of Monaco. The main theme of the first edition of the ADMS was how to attract and then integrate the estimated two billion new media users mainly in Asia, Africa and South America who will log onto the internet for the first time in the next three or four years.

In October 2010, PublicisLive organized the 13th Sommet de la Francophonie, (Worldwide Francophone Summit) which was held in Montreux, welcoming over 3,000 participants and 40 heads of states and delegations. Also that year, Rossant spearheaded the organization of the E-G8 Summit, at the request of French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

New Cities Foundation[edit]

In 2010, Rossant founded the New Cities Foundation, an independent non-profit organization that seeks to understand the profound changes occurring around the world due to the cultural, industrial and economic development within urban areas.

The New Cities Foundation is based in Geneva, Switzerland, but their main office is located in Paris, France. The Foundation is wholly independent and non-partisan and is funded mainly by its network of partners and members.[8] The Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life and work in 21st century cities.

The Foundation has launched several in-house research projects, through its 'Urban (Co)lab.'[9] This research lab uses the data collected from global cities to help better understand, solve and seek new methods for improving urban services, from transport and healthcare, to water and energy grids as well as governance systems. This research is then brought to a global stage, during the annual 'New Cities Summit.'

A particular focus of the Foundation, however, is centered on its annual meeting, the 'New Cities Summits',[10] editions of which have been held in Paris,[11] São Paulo[12] and Dallas.[13] These summits bring together many government officials, technological prodigies and business executives, who share the Foundation's goal of creating a more inclusive, dynamic and creative metropolitan regions.

Personal life[edit]

In September 1992 John Rossant married Antonella Caruso,[14] at the time a special adviser to the Italian Foreign Minister Gianni De Michelis in the field of Middle Eastern Affairs. A fluent Arabic speaker, she currently is the Director of the Middle East and West Asia Division of the United Nations' Department of Political Affairs in New York.

The Rossants have three children, Jordan (b. 1993), Matteo (1996) and Alexandre (2006).

The Rossants maintain homes in both New York and Paris, while their country retreat at Livry in Normandy is an 18th-century chateau, which the Rossants have extensively restored and renovated over the last few years.[15]

Other honorary commitments[edit]

Rossant is a Member of the Dean's International Council, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies. He is also Co-founder and Board Member of the Fondation Tocqueville, Paris and a board member of both the French-American Foundation and Humanity in Action.[4]


Further reading[edit]