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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Former French PM Dominique de Villepin Inaugurated as New CEIBS IAB Chairman

September 6, 2018. Shanghai – CEIBS faculty, staff, alumni, and students gathered in the Maple Lounge at the school’s Shanghai Campus this evening to officially mark the inauguration of former French Prime Minister and CEIBS Distinguished Professor Dominique de Villepin as the new Chairman of the CEIBS International Advisory Board (IAB). He will head a committee of eminent leaders from within the international business community in advising the school leadership on various strategic issues.

Prof. de Villepin is well-known for his influential work as a French diplomat, statesman, and writer. He began his diplomatic career in Washington, DC in 1984 and later served as Secretary General (1995-2002), Foreign Affairs Minister (2002-2004), Interior Minister (2004-2005), and ultimately as Prime Minister (2005-2007) to French President Jacques Chirac.

CEIBS President Professor Li Mingjun and Vice President & Dean Professor Ding Yuan led the more than 70 guests who attended the inauguration in formally welcoming Prof. de Villepin. During his opening remarks, Prof. Ding emphasised the role of the IAB in supporting CEIBS in its quest for “China Depth” and “Global Breadth”.

“The IAB is very important for CEIBS as it assists us in gathering wisdom from all over the world, not only from top politicians, but also from business people,” he said, adding that the board served to help “better position CEIBS strategically and also to spread our message all over the world in order to make the school better known.”

Following a brief ceremony and photo-op in which Professors Li and Ding presented him with a certificate recognising him as IAB Chairman, the evening’s guest of honour took the podium to share some of his thoughts and feelings on entering a new chapter in his life. He also took the opportunity to highlight some key challenges the school faces and to offer a vision of how CEIBS can better prepare students for a successful career.

“We need to ensure that every person coming out of this school is not only knowledgeable, not only has technical capabilities, but also possesses the capacity to integrate themselves into the strategic vision of the decision making process,” he said. “Creative adjustment to new situations and new crises is very difficult and in order to do that you need to understand the world, and you need to have dialogue and network all over the world.”

He added, “You cannot be a leader in the world if you don't think that, together, you should fight and find the right way for a win-win approach.” At the same time, he emphasised that it is important “not just to learn how to react to something, but to develop the tools to find the right way without knowing what the world is going to be like tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.”

The IAB ceremony kicks off a five-day visit to Shanghai by Prof. de Villepin during which he will participate in a number of events and activities, including delivering the keynote speech at the 2nd CEIBS CMO Summit. Throughout his visit, he will have several opportunities to engage in high-level discussions and lectures on a variety of topics. This includes a keynote speech, today, during a seminar with Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

Prof. de Villepin succeeds former IAB Chairman and Honorary President of the Zurich Institute of Business Education Professor Peter Lorange. To learn more about Prof. de Villepin’s background and career, visit his CEIBS faculty profile here.

Michael D. Thede
Charmaine N. Clarke