Francois Heisbourg

François Heisbourg is special adviser to the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique and senior adviser for Europe at the IISS.

His career spans government, notably as international security adviser at the French Ministry of Defence (1981-84), industry at Thomson-CSF (now Thales) and Matra (now Airbus), the think-tank world as director of IISS and of FRS, and academia as professor of world policy at Sciences-Po Paris. He chaired the IISS and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy during the first two decades of the century.

He participated in a number of blue-ribbon bodies, e.g. the French government’s “Facing terrorism” study (2005) and the Defence and National Security White Papers under Presidents Sarkozy and Hollande; the International Commission on the Balkans; the International Committee on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2010).

F.Heisbourg was part of the four person team which crafted the Finnish governmental Report on the possible consequences of joining NATO (2016). He was part of Emmanuel Macron’s campaign team in 2017-17 handling defence and national security issues.

In Berlin (2015-17) he served as Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Bosch Academy.

He has written extensively on strategic affairs. His latest book is “Retour de la guerre”, Paris (Odile Jacob ed.), 2021 which focussed on the prospective return of high intensity conflict in Europe and the Indo-Pacific.

Twitter: @FHeisbourg