While at the University of Chicago, Vanessa first studied abroad in France and discovered the country’s rich history and cultural heritage. She returned a second time on a summer program with the Sorbonne and began a research project on France’s first historical museum and the emergence of contemporary notions of cultural heritage or patrimoine. She then went on to do a master’s and PhD in modern European History, writing a dissertation on the French branch of the 19th-century international peace movement in Europe and how it contributed to the beginnings of international civil society. She has taught for over 10 years in universities, including the American University of Paris and Sciences Po, and has also worked at UNESCO and as a museum educator. She is currently Head of Department and History-Geography Professor for a Cambridge program in a French high school. She speaks fluent French and basic German.