Research team

François Heisbourg

Special adviser

[ ]

Geostrategy/Crises and conflicts
Homeland security/Radicalization and terrorism
United States/Transatlantic relations
European security/EU/NATO


Biographical information

  • 1978 / 1979: Member of the French Foreign Ministry's Policy Planning Staff (Centre d'analyse et de Prévision), in charge of nuclear non-proliferation issues
  • 1979 / 1981: First Secretary at the French Permanent Mission to the U.N. (New-York), dealing with international security and disarmament issues
  • 1981 / 1984: International security adviser to the French Minister of Defence. Founding-member of the French-German Commission on Security and Defence
  • 1984 / 1987: Vice-President at Thomson-CSF, in charge of European and Euro-American cooperation
  • 1987 / 1992: Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London
  • 1992 / X. 1998: Senior Vice-President (Strategic development), MATRA-Défense-Espace
  • 1999 / 2000: Professor at Sciences-Po(Paris), teaching the "world politics" course ; Head of interagency working group (groupe de travail interministériel) on the study of international relations, strategic affairs and defence issues in France
  • 2001-2005: Director, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, Paris
  • 2005: Special advisor, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, Paris

Affiliations (interalia)

  • Senior Adviser for Europe, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (from 2019)
  • Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, Bosch Stiftung, Berlin (2015-2017)
  • Chairman, Foundation Council of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (1998-2018)
  • Chairman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2001-2018)
  • Member of the International Commission on Nuclear Non Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) (2009-2010)
  • Member of the French Governement’s Defence and National Security White Paper (2007-2008 and 2012-2013)
  • Member of the European Commission’s Group of Personalities on R&D for Security (2003-2004)
  • Member of the Presidential Commission of the French White Paper on Defence and National Security (2007-2008 and 2012-2013)
  • Steering Committee Member of the French Government’s White Paper on Terrorism (2005-2006)
  • Member of the International Commission on the Balkans (2004-2006)
  • Adviser to the French Foreign Ministry Planning Staff
  • Member of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce


Numerous articles and interviews in the academic and general media.

Contributor to a number of books on foreign and strategic affairs, including: "The Conventional Defence of Europe" (New-York Council on Foreign Relations, 1986), "The Shape of the New Europe" (d°, 1991), "Western Europe and the Gulf" (WEU Institute for Defence Studies, Paris 1992), "Allied divided: Transatlantic Policies for the Greater Middle East" (Harvard U. Press, 1997), "Nuclear Weapons in a Transformed World" (St. Martin's Press, New-York 1998)

  • author with Pascal Boniface of "La Puce, les Hommes et la Bombe", Hachette, Paris 1986 ("Amiral Castex" prize for strategic litterature)
  • author of "Les volontaires de l'An 2000", Balland, Paris 1995, of "The Future of Warfare", Orion, London 1997
  • author and editor of "European Defence: Making It Work", WEU Policy for Security Studies, Paris, 2000
  • author, with the FRS, of "Hyperterrorisme : la nouvelle guerre", Odile Jacob, Paris, 2001 ("Edmond Freville" prize of the Academie des sciences morales et politiques)
  • author of "La fin de l'Occident ? l'Amérique, l'Europe et le Moyen-Orient", Odile Jacob, Paris, 2005.
  • author with Jean-Luc Marret of “Le Terrorisme en France aujourd’hui”, Les Equateurs, 2006.
  • author of “L’Epaisseur du Monde”, and of “L’Iran : le choix des armes ?”, Editions Stock, Paris, 2007.
  • author of “Al Qaida – la nouvelle génération du terrorisme”, Editions Stock, Paris, 2009.
  • author of “Vainqueurs et vaincus – Lendemains de crise”, Editions Stock, Paris, 2010.
  • author, with the FRS of « Les conséquences stratégiques de la crise », Odile Jacob, Paris, 2010.
  • author and editor of « Les armes nucléaires ont-elles un avenir ? », Odile Jacob, 2011.
  • author of « Espionnage et renseignement : le vrai dossier », Odile Jacob, 2012 (« Akropolis » prize).
  • author of « La fin du rêve européen’, Stock, 2013.
  • author of « Secrètes histoires : la naissance du monde moderne », Editions Stock, 2015.
  • author of « Comment perdre la guerre contre le terrorisme », Editions Stock, 2016.