Jean-Claude Cousseran assumed the position of Secretary General of the Académie Diplomatique Internationale in March 2007 until January 2016.
Mr. Cousseran has a distinguished career in government and foreign affairs with expertise in the Middle East, where he continues to be engaged in diplomatic efforts.
He has served as ambassador of France to Egypt, Turkey and Syria, and has held diplomatic posts in Jerusalem, Beirut, Baghdad, Tehran and New York. He has been counselor to the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister of Defense and served as director of French intelligence services.
Chantal Poiret is a career diplomat who was French Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Norway and Latvia.
For ten years, Ms. Poiret was also involved in multilateral diplomacy, including three years at the UN in New York and three years as Deputy Director of the United Nations and International Organizations. She was Assistant Director for South Asia and worked on Russia and Eastern Europe. She was posted to Germany and Romania.
She has also held several positions as Thematic Ambassador; she was the first Ambassador in charge of coordinating the fight against maritime piracy internationally and was Ambassador for the French regions, with a brief to attract foreign investments and provide support to export growth.
Major General Marc Foucaud left active service in late 2014 after 37 years in the military and just after commanding Operation Serval from August 2013 to August 2014 in Mali and then across the Sahel.
During this campaign, he developed close contacts with the military and political authorities throughout the sub-region.
Throughout his military career, he was assigned the responsibility of major operational commands. He also participated in numerous operations in West Africa. Consequently, his knowledge of the continent and its population is extensive.
Serge Lafont graduated from the Ecole Normale Sup (Ulm) with a PhD in physics, and from the Ecole nationale des ponts et chaussées as a civil engineer.
After working for Matra Transport in the United States from 1985 to 1988, Serge Lafont redirected his career to the public sector, from 1988 to 1995: at the Ministry of Economy as Head of Unit of the Direction des Relations Economiques Extérieures, then as technical advisor for foreign trade and international economy, at the Elysée Palace, for President François Mitterrand.
From 1995, Serge Lafont dedicated his career to international trade and the private sector, (Groupe Microfolies, INA, Millimages), and then to Areva for 10 years, (where he was Director for Southern Africa, then Director for International Development).
page de Serge Lafont
General Luc de Revel (2s) retired from active duty in 2017, after a 37-year military career. As a Navy Officer, he served in Africa and in the Pacific, alternating between combat units and central administration. He led the French battalion in Cote d’Ivoire from 2003 to 2005, and the New Caledonian armed forces from 2013 to 2015.
He was a military advisor in Cote d’Ivoire and worked as the Sub-Saharan Africa Assistant Director for defense cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also worked as Defense Attaché in Ethiopia and for the African Union.
While seconded to the Ministry for Overseas Territories, he managed the Adapted Military Service, a national system for the socio-professional integration of overseas youths who are distant from the employment market.
Jean Félix-Paganon is a French diplomat with the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary. He is a graduate of the Institut d'Études Politiques (IEP) and of the National Institute of Languages and Eastern Civilizations (INALCO) in written Arabic.
He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1979 and was the French ambassador in Kuwait (1997-1999), in South Africa (2003-2006), in Egypt (2008-2012) then in Senegal (2013-2016). Moreover, he was the UN and International Organizations director (1999-2003) and the Middle East and North Africa director (2006-2008) at the Quai d’Orsay. From June 2012 to November 2013, he was the Special Representative for the Sahel of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Laurent Fabius. From 2016 to 2017, he was country manager of Tasiast Mauritania, the Mauritanian subsidiary of Kinross Gold Corp. Mr. Félix-Paganon was appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (the highest honorary decoration in France), and Chevalier de l’ordre national du Mérite. He speaks Arabic and English.