Levitte as Permanent Representative of
France to the United Nations, addressing the Security Council
before its vote on resolution 1441.
(born June 14, 1946) is a
French diplomat of Jewish heritage, formerly the French ambassador
to the United States, and currently diplomatic advisor and sherpa
to President Nicolas Sarkozy
. He has also been named head
of the future National Security Council.
was born in Moissac, in the
south of France.
He is a graduate of Sciences Po
and of the French National
School of Oriental Languages
, where he studied Chinese and
Indonesian. He is married to Marie-Cécile Jonas and has two
A career in the French Foreign Affairs
posts were in Hong
Kong in 1970 and in Beijing,
China from 1972 to 1974.
In the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
itself, he has served as Director of Economic Affairs (1974–1975),
Assistant Director of West Africa (1984–1986), Assistant Director
of the Cabinet (1986–1988), Director of Asia and Oceania
(1990–1993), and General Director of Cultural, Scientific, and
Technical Relations (1993–1995).
Ambassador to United Nations in Geneva
Between 1981 and 1984 he was the Adviser to the Permanent Mission
of France at the United Nations
In 1988, he was designated to his first position as Ambassador and
served as the French Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Office in Geneva from 1988 to 1990.
Between 1975 and 1981, he was the chargé de mission
General Secretariat of the President Valéry Giscard
Between 1995 and 2000 he was a diplomatic adviser and sherpa to the
Jacques Chirac, a
position to which he returned in 2007, under President Nicolas Sarkozy
Ambassador to the UN and Security Council
From 2000 to 2002, he was Ambassador to the United Nations in New
York, representing France at the Security Council before and during
the negotiation that lead to the United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1441
on Iraq. He was president of
the Security Council in September 2001 and presiding over the
Council's deliberations following the September 11, 2001 attacks
Ambassador to the US
From late 2002 to 2007, he was Ambassador to U.S. J. D. Levitte
presented his ambassadorial credentials to George W. Bush
in Washington on December 9, 2002. He was succeeded by the current
ambassador, Pierre Vimont
, who was
appointed on August 1, 2007.
Back to the Élysée
On May 16, 2007, he was appointed diplomatic advisor and sherpa
to President Nicolas Sarkozy, and the
head of a future American-style National Security Council. The
nature and extent of his new role is not yet clear. While some
commentators have suggested he will not eclipse Minister of Foreign
and European Affairs Bernard
, Levitte has elsewhere been referred to as "seemingly
the true Minister of Foreign Affairs." Despite assertions made
while campaigning, it remains to be seen to what extent President
Sarkozy will treat national security and foreign affairs as the
"reserved domain" of the presidency.
[Un Conseil de sécurité nationale ? Oui, mais à la française !],
"Le Figaro", May 30,
2007, "Mais l'idée qu'il veuille - ou puisse - éclipser un chef de
la diplomatie comme Bernard Kouchner n'est pas concevable."
- http://fr.novopress.info/?p=8299 [Sarkozy et ses ministres],
Novopress, May 31, 2007, "celui qui est semble-t-il le
vrai ministre des Affaires étrangères."
[Qu'est-ce que c'est le domaine réservé?]
[Défense : M. Morin devra tenir compte du "domaine réservé" du chef
de l'Etat], "Le
Monde", May 18, 2007, "M. Sarkozy ayant estimé pendant la
campagne électorale qu'il ne devait pas y avoir de "domaine
réservé" du président de la République, il reste à voir si ce
souhait va se concrétiser."