On 14 October 2022, Isabelle Richard became Director of the EHESP School of Public Health by decree of the President of France. Following an interim period steered by Marion Ageneau, the School’s Secretary General, she is taking over from Laurent Chambaud, public health doctor, who ran EHESP from April 2013 to August 2022.
Since the late 1990s, Isabelle Richard has been building a professional career that is both rooted in teaching and research and focused on public policy. In addition to her active involvement in the academic sphere as a university professor and hospital physician (PU-PH), working in physical medicine and rehabilitation, she also lends her expertise in the fields of disability, the training of health professionals, administration and educational innovation to several national councils and committees. Mrs Richard was Chief advisor on health and training issues to the French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Mrs Frédérique Vidal, between 2017 and 2019, and held the position of First Vice-Chair of the University of Angers in charge of equality from March 2020.
Upon her arrival at EHESP, Mrs Richard intends to pursue the objectives of the school’s strategic plan for 2019-2023 and consolidate the national and international standing of EHESP with the conviction that “our understanding of the determinants of health should be widely shared, beyond experienced audiences, to develop a large-scale ‘literacy’ in public health which is necessary both in terms of developing public policies and understanding of their real-world effects.” As Director, she aims to work on developing new and ambitious projects for this leading school of public service, by bringing science together with political decision-making while also informing citizens.
Mrs Richard’s appointment as Director of EHESP also coincides with the school’s participation as a component-institution of the “University of Rennes” experimental public institution (EPE), which will be launched on 1st January 2023. The school will have a strong regional presence at the Rennes site and be highly active in the “world health” area of its work. The new Director will focus on developing this theme and, more broadly, to get involved in the EPE’s joint projects, particularly those that are research-based, alongside its other members and partners.