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Thierry Coulhon appointed Acting Chairman of the Board of Institut Polytechnique de Paris

09 Oct. 2023
Four years after its creation, Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris) has positioned itself as one of the world's leading higher education institutions in science and technology. After an initial phase dedicated to its creation and positioning under the presidency of Eric Labaye, the Institute is now entering the second phase of its development, dedicated to its acceleration and growth, reinforced by a reform of its governance. To lead this ambitious project, Professor Thierry Coulhon was officially appointed Acting Chairman of the Board of Institut Polytechnique de Paris on September 27.
Thierry Coulhon appointed Acting Chairman of the Board of Institut Polytechnique de Paris
Thierry Coulhon, Acting Chairman of the Board of Institut Polytechnique de Paris

Thierry Coulhon has a long track record in higher education and research.

Agrégé in mathematics (1981), he holds a DEA in the history and philosophy of science (University of Paris I, 1985) and a habilitation to direct research in mathematics (University of Paris VI, 1991). Thierry Coulhon has held several academic management positions during his career, both in France and internationally. He was President of University of Cergy-Pontoise (2004-2008), Director of the Mathematical Sciences Institute of the Australian National University in Canberra (2012-2015) and President of Paris Sciences et Lettres (2015-2017).

He also served as Special Advisor, and later on as Deputy Director, to Valérie Pécresse, former Minister of Higher Education and Research (from 2008 to 2010). He was Director of the "Centers of Excellence" program at the Commissariat Général à l'Investissement (from February 2010 to August 2012). He was then appointed Education, Higher Education, Research and Innovation Advisor in the office of French President Emmanuel Macron (from June 2017 to October 2020).

Since November 2020, he has been president of the Haut Conseil de l'évaluation de la recherche et de l'enseignement supérieur (Hcéres).

A new dynamic

The creation of Institut Polytechnique de Paris was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron in October 2017. He set the following objective: to find original ways to create, from prestigious Schools, a major world-class science and technology Institute to promote science, the general interest, prosperity and contribute to the reputation of France internationally.

In a context of increasing international competition, it is essential to continue to strengthen the global performance and visibility of Institut Polytechnique de Paris and its member Schools, and to reinforce the development of joint projects, particularly in the fields of research and innovation.

To provide an organization aligned with this ambition, the two supervisory ministries of Institut Polytechnique de Paris - the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, and the French Ministry of Armed Forces - have decided to reform the governance of Institut Polytechnique de Paris and École Polytechnique, giving the Institute a dedicated executive management.

New governance

After a transitional period, Professor Thierry Coulhon will lead the Institute's project as President of the IP Paris Executive Committee. Under his authority, the Executive Committee, comprising the directors of the five member Schools, will be responsible for all decisions that do not fall within the scope of the Administrative Board.

Laura Chaubard, the current Director General of École Polytechnique, will be responsible for the executive management of the School.

Thereafter, the Administrative Boards of IP Paris and École Polytechnique will have a joint non-executive presidency, to ensure the coherence of the two institutions' strategies.

International outreach and impact

The new construction strategy of Institut Polytechnique de Paris will include its member Schools, whose history and specificity will contribute to its richness, in order to be recognized internationally as a leading scientific and technological institution.

Among the new roadmap's strategic priorities are the consolidation of IP Paris' research, the development of top-class academic programs and the promotion of its innovation ecosystem. These objectives are designed to contribute to the Institute's reputation and international outreach, and more broadly to support the French economy, particularly in the fields of Green Reindustrialization and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty.