Jean-François de Clermont-Tonnerre is a keen philanthropist dedicating significant time and money to charitable causes.
He and his wife founded the Fondation Jean-François and Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre in 2009. The Foundation’s objective is to promote art, culture and to foster innovation. It aims in particular to promote the access of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to education and culture, and aims to support projects of an artistic, cultural, environmental and scientific nature.
The foundation actively supports around fifteen projects. Among its latest projects are the creation of the annual Chair in “Biodiversity and Ecosystems” at the Collège de France, and the funding of an international collaboration in brain sciences bringing together scientists from the Sainsbury Wellcome Center for Neural Circuits and Behavior (SWC), UCL, London and those of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The foundation provided funds to build a dining facility for Niñi Feliz, a Bolivian charity helping poor children in the city of Santa Cruz. This project feeds more than 1,000 children every day and is part of Niñi Feliz’s work to improve the lives of people in Santa Cruz.
Jean-François is also very active in the world of fine arts, including the Friends of the Fine Arts, supporting the work of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts.
His foundation also contributes to the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. This famous building in the heart of the city’s 16th arondissement promotes and exhibits modern and contemporary art.
The foundation’s commitment to funding the arts includes a close involvement promoting the work of legendary French-Chinese painter Zao Wou-Ki. Zao was born in Beijing, moving to France in 1948, where his exhibitions earned praise from Picasso and Joan Miro. Jean-François is Vice-President of the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation.
Jean-François has also worked with the Association of Heritage Cinema and Restored Film to support meetings and awards to encourage the restoration and revival of historic film.
Other organizations benefiting from the Foundation’s support and contributions include the École Polytechnique de Lausanne, the MAPE Association, the European Opera Center in Liverpool and the Society for the Investigation of the Social (SIS) in Gujarat, India.