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Professor François Heisbourg delivered the 2017 IISS Alastair Buchan Memorial Lecture on the theme ‘War and peace after the age of liberal globalisation’.
Professor Heisbourg began his career at the French foreign ministry serving in the Policy Planning Unit and subsequently as international security adviser to the Minister of Defence. In 1984, he moved into the private sector to become Vice-President at Thomson-CSF. He took on the post of Director of the IISS in 1987, before joining MATRA-Defense-Espace as senior Vice-President in 1992.
François has since served on numerous French government advisory bodies, leading the interagency working group on the study of international relations, strategic affairs and defence issues in France (1999–2000); serving as a member of the Defence and National Security White Paper Presidential Commission (2007–08, 2012-13); and on the steering committee for the White Paper on Terrorism (2005–06). He has also served on several international commissions, including on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (2008–10), the Balkans (2004–06), and the European Commission’s Group of Personalities on Security Research and Development (2003–04), and has lectured on global affairs at Sciences-Po Paris.
Since 1998 François has been Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. In 2001, he became Director of the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique in Paris, and has served since 2005 as its Special Advisor. In addition to his role as an IISS Trustee, François was appointed Chairman of the IISS Council in September 2001. In this capacity he is responsible for leading the Institute’s international advisory body on matters of intellectual due diligence, fundraising support and strategic networking.
François is a frequent commentator in academic and mainstream media, and has contributed to a number of books on foreign and strategic affairs. He has most recently authored Comment perdre la guerre contre le terrorisme (Stock, Paris 2016); Secrètes histoires: La naissance du monde moderne (Stock, Paris 2014); La Fin du rêve européen (Stock, Paris 2013); and Renseignement et espionnage: le vrai dossier (Odile Jacob, Paris, 2012), which won the Prix Akropolis in 2012. He was editor and co-author of Les Conséquences de la crise (Odile Jacob, Paris, 2010) and Les Armes nucléaires ont-elles un avenir? (Odile Jacob, Paris, 2011).
This event was chaired by Dr John Chipman CMG, Director-General and Chief Executive, IISS. It took place in the Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room at Arundel House, 6 Temple Place, London WC2R 2PG*.
Since 1998 François has been Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. In 2001 he became Director of the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, Paris. François was appointed Chairman of the IISS Council in September 2001, responsible for leading the Institute’s international advisory body on matters of intellectual due diligence, fundraising support and strategic networking.
Dr John Chipman CMG is Director-General and Chief Executive of The International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is Special Adviser to the Chairman of Reliance Industries (Mumbai), a member of the Board of Directors of private equity firm The Abraaj Group (Dubai) and consults widely.