François Heisbourg is Senior adviser for Europe of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and Special advisor of the Paris-based Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS).
He has served in government (foreign ministry’s policy planning staff, international security adviser to the Minister of Defence), industry (vice-president of Thomson-CSF, today’s Thales; senior vice president at Matra Défense Espace, now part of Airbus) and academia (professor of the world politics course at Sciences-Po Paris, director of the IISS). He is a member of the International council of CNRS (the French Scientific Research Council), and has sat on national and international blue-ribbon bodies, notably the French government’s White Paper “La France face au terrorisme” (2006) and the Defence and national security White Papers (under President Sarkozy in 2007-8 and President Hollande in 2012-13); the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament; the International Commission on the Balkans; the EU Commission’s group of personalities on security research and development).
He was Chairman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies from 2002 to 2018, and from 1998 to 2018, he chaired the Foundation Council of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. In 2015-2017 he was a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Bosch Academy in Berlin.
He dealt with defence and national security issues as part of Emmanuel Macron’s presidential campaign.
He has written extensively on defence and security questions and is a frequent contributor to specialist and main-stream media. His latest book is « Comment perdre la guerre contre le terrorisme » (2016), Paris, éditions Stock.