February 24, 2023

Candidate Statements for the 2023 DA France Marseille Leadership Election

The nomination period for the DA Marseille Chapter leadership elections is now closed, and the DA Marseille Election Board is pleased to announce the candidates for the Paris Chapter leadership!

Meet the candidates before voting! Join us via zoom on Thursday March 2, 2023 from 6:30pm to 8pm meet all members currently running for election. You can RSVP here 

Marseille Chapter members will be able to vote electronically (you will receive an email with an electronic ballot) or by attending the Marseille Chapter Election Event on March 11 at 2:00pm. See here for more details and to RSVP.



Candidates for Chair

Aaron Ambeau, candidate for Chair of the Democrats Abroad Marseille chapter

I have served as the Treasurer and, then, Vice-Chair for the Aix-Marseille Chapter of Democrats Abroad France over the last two years. Coming from a politically active family of Democrats in Louisiana (my grandfather and aunt were elected tax assessors for a combination of 38 years, and my uncle was a district judge for 12 years), I grew up campaigning, attending political events, and waiting on election night for the phone calls that would inform us of the votes in the precincts around the parish.

Now, I am asking for your support of my candidacy for Chairperson of our Aix-Marseille chapter. I bring the kind of passion, organizational skills, and commitment to our party and voters that are necessary for effective leadership and community building. When I met my husband in 2001, I had no idea I would be living in France 20 years later, singing with regional opera companies, teaching English, and seeking opportunities to help my party overseas. There is much we need to do as we journey toward the 2024 elections, building our communities in Marseille, Aix, and the surrounding areas, while focusing on getting Democrats involved, registered, and voting. I hope to have your support; and I look forward to meeting and working with (as we say in Louisiana) “all of y’all."

Candidates for Vice Chair

Susan Fitoussi, candidate for Vice-Chair of the Democrats Abroad Marseille chapter

I was born and raised in Los Angeles California. I left California when I was 24 and have lived abroad since. I have been living in France since 1987 and Marseille since 1994. 

Why are you running for this position – 

I have been a member of our chapter since it was created in 2007.

I became ‘Chair’ of our chapter in 2019 and was then elected to continue another term in 2021. 

I have been active in GOTV locally, nationally and globally. 

I am also involved with our DA Veterans Military and Family Caucus both on a national and global level.

To remain useful to our new team and let someone else take over as Chair I offer myself as Vice Chair. 

Helping US Citizens register to vote is a gratifying and important thing to do 

We have a great team and I hope to continue working together to organize events that will bring our community together and keep the US Blue! 

Previous ExCom Positions: Chairperson/ Secretary/Member at Large

Candidates for Communications Officer

Thembi Costa, candidate for Communications officer of the Democrats Abroad Marseille chapter

After much consideration, I would like to self nominate for the role of communications offficer serving the Democrats Abroad:Aix/Marseille chapter. While I am always ready to serve my community, asking the organization to consider my nomination for the role of Communications Officer is a request I do not take lightly. Effective communication is the conduit to unity, action and progress. If given the opportunity, I am ready to give the position the benefit of my experience.

At present I am a communications & business major at University of Mary Washington in Virginia, USA. I continue my studies online, while learning French at Aix Marseille University and teaching English with Les Petits Bilingues here in Aix en Provence.

I humbly ask the board, and members to consider my nomination.

Candidates for Members-at-Large

Philip J. Breeden, candidate for a Member-at-Large position of the Democrats Abroad Marseille chapter

After serving my country as a U.S. diplomat for almost 30 years, I moved to Aix-en-Provence in 2014 where I teach and help administer the American College of the Mediterranean/Institute for American Universities. 

This experience, particularly my service as U.S. Consul General in Marseille, informs my work for the Marseille Chapter of Democrats Abroad, France.  Under the leadership of Chair Susan Fitoussi I was honored to serve as Member-at-Large and as a Democrats Abroad France media spokesperson during the 2020 Presidential election.  As we know, the vote from abroad was a critical part of our success in bringing new leadership in Washington, and in producing historic results for Democrats in the 2022 mid-terms.   

However, democracy is not a spectator sport, and we must start now to organize for the 2024 Presidential elections while giving voice to the many Americans living abroad.  This is why I am standing again for election as a Member-at-Large for the Marseille Chapter.  

Joel Luboff, candidate for a Member-at-Large position of the Democrats Abroad Marseille chapter

I became a member of Democrats Abroad France since shortly after coming to France in  1990 and have been a member at large of the Marseille Aix ExCom for the past four years.  Over the years, I’ve seen how grassroots volunteer work can make a difference at the ballot box and as a lobbying force on vital issues.  I am motivated to continue my work with this admirable organization, hopefully with another term as member-at-large.

Heather C. Etchevers, candidate for a Member-at-Large position of the Democrats Abroad Marseille chapter

A dual U.S. and French citizen, mother of two others who now also vote, I grew up as Gen X in Massachusetts. After a Wellesley B.A., I earned a joint Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and (today’s) Sorbonne Université and became a tenured biomedical scientist with the INSERM (French National Institutes of Health) at Aix-Marseille Université. Residence abroad for three decades has brought me unique perspective on policies concerning STEM, reproductive/health, cultural, educational and other issues pertaining to U.S. domestic and foreign policy. An engaged rare disease advocate, organizer of the Marseille March for Science in 2017, my responsibility is to aid the election of Democrats in the U.S and to enable our values to be put into action. Our party must implement testable, effective ideas from the diversely talented people who make us proud to be Democrats, together. I have served a first term as Member-at-Large, doing odd jobs where I can help, and would like to continue in a second term.

Karen Wildau, candidate for a Member-at-Large position of the Democrats Abroad Marseille chapter

I offer myself as a candidate for member at large.  I have served as treasurer and member at large on the committee since 2013, after retiring from law practice in Atlanta to Aix in 2010. My first job was with a great California congressman in DC in 1968 where I worked for 4 years. I later served as a McGovern delegate from Cleveland at the l972 convention, as the token white woman under thirty in a predominantly Black district.  How things have changed, happily.  I have never lost my interest in politics and I would like to continue to contribute to positive change. I have spent many hours  phonebanking to get out the vote and in voter protection work helping expats solve  problems so their votes would be counted. I have also worked with the Women’s Caucus on a project geared to help protect expat women from violence.

Now, with our “houses divided”, it is even more important that our overseas voices are counted and I want to continue to help.


All members of the DAF Marseille Chapter may vote in the leadership elections. The elections will be decided by a plurality of votes (the candidate who gets the most votes in the election wins). DAF does not accept proxy votes. Since there is an early online voting process, nominations from the floor during the in-person election event will not be accepted. The ballot includes a space for write-in candidates for all positions.  

New members are welcome to join and vote. To join, click here: www.democratsabroad.org/join. You must be a US citizen 18 years of age or older by Nov. 7, 2023 and living in the Marseille Chapter region. New members may join up until the day before the election.

Questions? Please contact the DA France Marseille Election Board at:

[email protected].

Thank you for voting!

DAF Marseille Chapter Election Board