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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin Joins CEIBS

To lecture on project diplomacy, soft power & global economic competition

January 22, 2018. Shanghai – In his new role as Distinguished Professor at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), former Prime Minister of France Mr. Dominique de Villepin will engage in high-level discussions and lectures on topics ranging from the China-led Belt & Road Initiative, art and culture, to the new global economic competition. CEIBS, the most international business school in China, announced his appointment today. It is anticipated that CEIBS students and alumni will begin benefitting from de Villepin’s lectures this spring.

“I look forward to stimulating intellectual discussions with students, alumni, faculty and the wider CEIBS community during my visits throughout 2018,” said de Villepin. “The topics have been carefully selected to ensure that we all get the most out of these encounters. I anticipate that I will learn as much from those in the audience as they will glean from my talks. In today’s interconnected world, this sharing of ideas is essential.”

A renowned statesman with degrees in law and literature preceding a diplomatic career that ultimately led him to one of the highest political offices in France, de Villepin will draw on his wealth of knowledge and experience during his engagement with the CEIBS community. For example, his discussions on the BRI will be within the context of Africa and project diplomacy in the new age of globalisation; art and culture will be explored as factors of soft power and competition; while global economic competition calls for a new approach to branding and communications.

“Professor de Villepin’s visits to CEIBS will focus on high-quality and high-level exchanges and discussions on topics that will play a decisive role in the global and Chinese economy in the coming years. His presentations, lectures, and intellectual engagement with faculty, students and alumni at CEIBS will help further ties between China and Europe,” said CEIBS Vice President & Dean Professor Ding Yuan in making the announcement. 

The appointment is in keeping with CEIBS’ reputation as a strong link between China and Europe. The school was established in 1994 as a joint venture between the Shanghai government and the European Commission. It has played a major role in – and also benefitted from – China’s economic development over the years, earning a reputation as a rigorous academic institution on par with other leading global business schools. In the last 23 years, CEIBS has provided a platform for the exchange of ideas between China and the rest of the world, welcoming thought leaders from a broad range of industries, in addition to leading players from the political world and academia.  Intellectual discourse typically takes the form of classroom lectures, as well as executive forums and master classes which are open to audiences beyond the immediate CEIBS community. CEIBS also promotes the exchange of ideas between China and Europe through its annual Europe Forum series of events. This year, the forum will return to France, along with stops in London, Munich, Prague and Zurich.

CEIBS’ ties with France have deepened in recent years, dovetailing with stronger ties between China and France. Earlier this month during President Emmanuel Macon’s first official state visit to China, for example, CEIBS hosted a member of his delegation, Member of Parliament Dr. Olivier Veran for a seminar that explored the links between artificial intelligence and healthcare innovation. “In addition to our role of educating socially responsible global business leaders for today and the future, we also take pride in our role as facilitator of the relationship between China and the rest of the world, especially Europe,” said Dean Ding Yuan.  “The addition of former Prime Minister of France Mr. Dominique de Villepin to our already very impressive list of faculty ensures that we continue to build on the work we have done in that regard in the past. We look forward to his first visit and to the year ahead.”

About Dominique de Villepin
A well-known French diplomat, statesman and writer, Dominique de Villepin is a former Foreign Affairs Minister (2002-2004), Interior Minister (2004-2005) and Prime Minister (2005-2007) of France. Effective January 2018, he is Distinguished Professor at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS).

Prof. de Villepin was born in Morocco in 1953 and grew up abroad, in Venezuela and the U.S. among other places, before moving to France in 1968. He holds a B.A. in Law and Literature.

Prof. de Villepin began his career as a diplomat and served in Washington, D.C. from 1984 to 1989 and in New Delhi as Embassy Counsellor from 1989 to 1992. He then became head advisor for African Affairs at the Foreign Ministry. He was appointed Chief of Staff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, in 1993 before being called upon by President Jacques Chirac to be his Chief of Staff from 1995 to 2002 at the Élysée.

In 2002, Prof. de Villepin was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, and in 2003 he managed the Iraq crisis on behalf of France and upheld the French position against war at the United Nations. He became Minister of the Interior in 2004 and then served as Prime Minister from 2005 to 2007. During this period he committed himself to boosting employment and reforming the labour market, reducing deficits and public debts, as well as stimulating growth and innovative policies through the creation of competitive clusters throughout France.

Fond of literature and history, Prof. de Villepin is also known for writing essays dealing with Napoleon I, diplomacy, Europe and international relations, as well as essays focusing on poets and painters, in particular the French-Chinese artist Zao Wou-Ki. He has also authored books of poetry. His most recent book, on peace building and international challenges, entitled Mémoire de paix pour temps de guerre, was published in 2016 and translated into Chinese in 2018.

Charmaine N. Clarke