Eric Besson – Keynote Speaker

Strategist and former French Minister of Industry, Energy and Digital Economy

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Eric Besson Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Politics
  • Strategy


  • French


Éric Besson founded Eric Besson Consulting in 2012, a strategy consulting firm advising major international industry and energy companies.

Éric was the French minister for Industry, Energy and Digital Economy from November 2010 until May 2012. His previous official portfolios also included Minister for Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Co-Development of France (January 2009 – November 2010) and Secretary of State in charge of Strategic Planning, Public Policy Evaluation and Digital Economy Development of France (May 2007 – January 2009).

Before joining the French Government, Éric was member of the French Parliament for 10 years since June 1997, representing the 2nd constituency of the Drôme, a department located in southeastern France. In 2005, he was appointed National Secretary of the Socialist Party in charge of economic issues, but quit the party two years later and joined Nicolas Sarkozy during the 2007 electoral campaign. He became later deputy secretary general of UMP, the former majority party, from 2009 to 2010.

Éric has been Mayor of Donzère (Drôme) since 1995. He is also the founder and chairman of the progressive think tank Les Progressistes. In April 2011, the Union for a Popular Movement selected him as its candidate in the newly created Fifth constituency for French residents overseas for the June 2012 legislative elections.

Before entering politics, Éric held several executive positions in industry, services, media and advisory businesses. Born in Morrocco, Éric is passionate about sport, especially football and Formula 1 car races.

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