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Mr. Frédéric Mion: New Director Of Sciences Po

One of France’s most prestigious universities, l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris better known as ‘Sciences Po’, welcomed its new director, Mr. Frédéric Mion, on March 29, 2013. He was appointed to replace Richard Descoings (deceased April 3, 2012) as the head of Sciences Po. Mr. Mion himself attended Sciences Po (along with Ecole Normale Supérieure and Princeton) where he studied Public Law and Humanities. Mr. Mion also attended l’École Nationale d’Administration, the top civil service school in France. He then proceeded to teach Public Law at Sciences Po for a number of years. At age 43, Mr. Mion has accumulated an impressive list of senior management posts in both the public and private sectors in France. Perhaps most notably, Mr. Mion was General Secretary of the prominent French media group, Canal +. Before his work in media, Mr. Mion was the technical advisor to the Minister of Education, and a member of the Conseil d’État (France’s Supreme Court for administrative justice). Now, Mr. Mion will expand his repertoire to include overseeing the illustrious student and faculty body at Sciences Po.

Founded in 1872, Sciences Po originated as a school for training French political leaders in the social sciences. Over the years since its foundation, however, it has become world-famous for being an internationally oriented research and higher education institution, with 46 percent of its student body coming from abroad, 35 permanent dual degree programs, and affiliations with over 400 other universities across the globe. As a result, Mr. Mion will have to manage Sciences Po but also act as a major player in cultural diplomacy.

Yet Mr. Mion’s recent statements indicate that he is ready and eager for the challenge. According to a press release by Sciences Po, Mr. Mion explains, "In a global world, we believe in the fundamental importance of sharing knowledge. Excellence will be built on cooperation between the world’s universities. That's why I will continue to reinforce and develop Sciences Po's international dimension, reaffirming its position at the heart of the institution. I value all of the partnerships Sciences Po has developed throughout the world.” His plan for Sciences Po thus far emphasizes the institution’s internationality, an expansion of funding sources, and pedagogical innovation by making “minor adjustments” to the current structures of the university. While director, Mr. Mion hopes to build upon the open-minded, globally oriented foundations that are already laid for him at Sciences Po, and to help continue Sciences Po along its trajectory of international prominence and excellence in the social sciences.

Sciences Po is one of the founding members of the Alliance program, a transatlantic joint-venture of excellence supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, bringing together a top American Research University, Columbia University, and three major French institutions: Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, Ecole Polytechnique, and Sciences Po. The aim of the venture is to pursue innovation in Education and Research by sharing knowledge, practices and resources. Every year, more than 200 students from all over the world are part of one of the 23 joint programs and dual degrees offered to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students between the 4 universities. A laboratory for innovation, the Alliance Program has become furthermore a major academic platform for transatlantic debate on global issues.

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