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Francois Houllier. © inra, Christophe Maitre

François Houllier new INRA President

Following a review by the Economic Affairs Committees of the French National Assembly and Senate, 53 year-old François Houllier was appointed President of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research at the 25 July meeting of the Council of Ministers. He takes over from Marion Guillou as of 27 July 2012.

Updated on 08/19/2016
Published on 07/26/2012

At the start of his mandate, François Houllier stressed his commitment to continuing efforts to improve the quality, impact and diversity of INRA’s scientific output. The Institute’s scientific leadership will be upheld by guaranteeing a diverse range of expertise and by enhancing its attractiveness to young researchers. Dr Houllier plans to develop INRA’s programming capacities, which in the past have placed the Institute at the forefront of major scientific, technological, social and environmental advancements.

He added: “I would also like agricultural research to hold a prominent position in every one of its scientific fields. I shall continue to promote INRA as an international scientific body while upholding its important commitment to European research. In line with its mission and status, I will actively involve INRA in the national and regional processes which shape our research and innovation systems, targeting these priorities through dialogue and interaction with our partners and with socioprofessional and economic stakeholders, associations and fellow citizens.”

Parliament plays role in the appointment of INRA President
In accordance with the Law of 23 July 2010, nominations for fifty prominent positions in French public life – including INRA President – must now be submitted to the relevant Parliamentary Committees for approval. A nomination must be approved by two-fifths of those called to vote. As part of this new procedure, François Houllier spoke before the Economic Affairs Committees of the French National Assembly and Senate on 17 and 24 July. Each of these sessions was followed by a vote.
A video recording of François Houllier speaking before the Economic Affairs Committee is available via the following links (in French):




* Deputy Director General in charge of organisation, resources and scientific assessment (since 2010)

* Scientific Director of Plants and Plant Products of INRA (2005-2009)

* Head of the Forest, Grassland and Freshwater Ecology Division at INRA (2004)

* Head of the Forest and Natural Environment Division at INRA (2001-2004)

* Director of the Joint CIRAD-CNRS-INRA-IRD Université de Montpellier II Research Unit for Botany and Computational Plant Architecture (2000-2002)

* Director of the Joint CIRAD-INRA Research Unit for Plant Modelling (1998-1999)

* Director of the French Institute of Pondicherry (India – 1994-1997)

Other responsibilities

* Acting Chair of AllEnvi, a national alliance for environmental research coordination (food and nutrition, water, climate and the environment) (since March 2012)

* Chair of the Public Interest Group on Forest Ecosystems (GIP ECOFOR) (GIP ECOFOR) (since 2009)

* Chair of the Strategic Committee of the Génoplante scientific interest group (2010-2011) and of the Green Biotechnologies scientific interest group (since 2011)

* Chair of the Scientific and Technical Committee of the IFVV (French Institute for Vine and Wine) (since 2005)

* Chairman of the Board of the European Forest Institute (2004-2006)


* Accredited to direct research – Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I (1992)

* PhD from the Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I (1986)

* Engineer, French Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (ENGREF) (1983)

* Graduate of the École polytechnique (1978)

Main subjects of publications

Plant modelling and ecological systems, forest biometrics.