Jean-Marie Guéhenno was until his appointment as president of the International Crisis Group the Arnold Saltzman Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University and the director of its centre for international conflict resolution (School of International and Public Affairs). He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. In 2012, he was appointed deputy joint special envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria. He left that position to chair the commission appointed by President François Hollande to review the French Defense and national security posture. Between 2000 and 2008, he served as the United Nations Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. A former French diplomat, he held the position of Chairman of the Institut des Hautes Études de Défense Nationale between 1998 and 2000, and served as director of the French policy planning staff and as ambassador to the Western European Union. Mr Guéhenno has been active on several boards, including the board of the International Crisis Group and the board of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, of which he became the chairman at the end of 2010. Mr Guéhenno is an Officer of the Légion dhonneur and a Commander of the Bundesverdienstkreuz of Germany.
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