François Heisbourg

Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS)


François Heisbourg is a Special Advisor to the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS) and Senior Advisor for Europe at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London.

He has been Head of Policy Planning for the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Security Advisor to the Minister of Defence. In the private sector, he has been Vice-President of Thomson-CSF (now Thales) and Vice-President of Matra Défense Espace (now part of Airbus). In the academic sphere, he has been a Professor at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and Director of the IISS.

He has been a member of various national and international commissions: the drafting of the French Government’s white paper La France face au terrorisme (2006) and the white paper on presidential defence and national security during the presidencies of Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2008) and François Hollande (2012-2013); the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2009-2010); the International Balkans Commission (2004-2005) and the European Commission’s group of personalities in Security Research and Development (2005). He was also one of the drafters of the Finnish government’s groundbreaking report on the effects of Finland’s entry into NATO.

He chaired the IISS between 2002 and 2018 and the Founding Board of the Geneva Center for Security Policy from 1998 to 2018. He was a member of the Richard von Weizsäcker Program at the Bosch Academy in Berlin between 2015 and 2017. As part of Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign (2016-2017), he led issues related to defence and national security. He has also been a member of the Global Commission for Post-Pandemic Policy. He has written numerous works on defence and security and is a regular contributor to different media.

He is a graduate from Sciences Po in Paris and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA).

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