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Thierry de Montbrial

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Name  Thierry Montbrial
Role  Economic specialist
Children  Thibault de Montbrial

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Books  Action and Reaction in the World System: The Dynamics of Economic and Political Power
Education  Ecole Polytechnique, University of California, Berkeley
Similar People  Thibault de Montbrial, Thomas Gomart, Philippe Moreau Defarges, Marie‑Christine de Montbrial, Sergio Romano

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Thierry de Montbrial (born 3 March 1943) is the Executive Chairman of the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri), which he founded in 1979. He is also the founder and Chairman of the World Policy Conference (WPC), which he created in 2008. He has been a member of the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences since 1992, and he was President of the Institut de France. He is an honorary member of numerous foreign academies.


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Montbrial is the son of François, inspector-general of the Bank of France and Monique Lecuyer-Corthis. He married Marie-Christine de Montbrial (née Balling) in 1967, who is a movie producer (StarDance Pictures) and daughter of Charles Balling (born in 1912; Ecole Polytechnique in 1935). He is the father of Thibault de Montbrial, lawyer and of Alexandra Pilleux-de Montbrial.


Montbrial graduated from the École Polytechnique (1963) and from the École des Mines (1969) as a general engineer. He received his doctorate in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley in the United States. He wrote his doctoral thesis at Berkeley on the time dimension in the economic theory of general equilibrium, directed by the professor Gérard Debreu (Nobel Prize of Economy, 1983).


As a Corps des Mines engineer, Montbrial chaired the department of Economics of the Ecole Polytechnique between 1974 and 1992. He was a professor at the Ecole Polytechnique (1973-2008) and also chaired the department of Applied Economics and International Relations at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) between 1995 and 2008. Since then, he has been a Professor Emeritus at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers.

In 1973, Michel Jobert, then Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, put him in charge of setting up the Center of Analysis and Prevision (CAP) for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He then became the first Head Director of the Policy Planning Staff until 1979, prior to Jean-Louis Gergorin.

In 1979, Montbrial created the French Institute of Foreign Relations (Ifri), which publishes – among others – the annual report RAMSES (yearly global report on the economic system and strategies) and the periodical Politique étrangère (foreign policy).

In 2008, Montbrial founded the World Policy Conference (WPC), an annual meeting which addresses global governance issues and which gathers political, economic and social leaders. The latest edition took place in Montreux (Switzerland) from November 20-22nd 2015.

Montbrial was also Chairman of the French-Austrian Centre for European Economic Convergence (CFA) between 1985 and 2015. Between 1993 and 2001, he was the inaugural Chairman of the Foundation for Strategic Research. He is a regular contributor to the media, and was notably a columnist for the daily Le Monde (2002- 2010), after being a columnist for Le Figaro (1989- 2001).

Montbrial is on the Board of several institutions and international companies. He is – among others – member of the International Advisory Board of Lafarge and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the Group OCP (Morocco), and member of the Board of Directors of the Renault Foundation. He was a member of the Advisory Council of the WTO Secretary General, Geneva (2003- 2005), member of the Commission Defense and National Security White Paper (2007-2008) and member of the Steering Committee for the Bilderberg Meetings (1976-2011).

Montbrial is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Peterson Institute for International Economics (Washington), the Carnegie Moscow Center, the Advisory Council of the Stanford Institute for International Studies and the Editorial Board of Russia in Global Affairs (Moscow). He is also a member of the Fondation Ecologie d'Avenir since 2011.


Montbrial was elected at the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences on June 29, 1992. He was Chairman of this academy in 2001 and of the Institut de France at the same time. He is a founding member of the Académie des Technologies (2000). He is also a member of the Academia Europaea (elected in March 1993), the Royal Academy of Belgium (elected in January 1996), the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences (elected in 1999), the Romanian Academy (elected in December 1999), the Academy of Science of Russia (elected in May 2003), the Academy of Science of Moldavia (elected in January 2006), the Academy of Science of Bulgaria (elected in July 2006) and in 2010 was accepted as corresponding academician in the Royal Academy of Economics and Financial Sciences of Spain.

Montbrial is Doctor Honoris Causa of the Romanian Academy for economic studies (1996), the Academy of Science of Azerbaidjan (2002), the University of Brasov, Romania (2003), the University of Galatasaray, Turkey (2004), the State University of Chisinau, Moldavia (2005), the State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) of Moscow (2007), the University of Bucarest, Romania (2011), Iasi, Romania (2014) and of Sofia University, Bulgaria (2017).

Distinctions and State honors

  • Commandeur of the Legion d’Honneur
  • Grand Officier of the Ordre National du Mérite
  • Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (2016)
  • Awarded Grand Prix of the Société de Géographie for his collected works (2003).
  • References

    Thierry de Montbrial Wikipedia