Jean-Christophe Belliard is the deputy secretary general, political director at the European External Action Service. He studied at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations, Paris.  In 1984 Belliard joined the French ministry of foreign affairs and was posted as second secretary in Khartoum, Sudan from 1985-87, before returning to Paris to work for the Sudan desk in the African directorate from 1988-91. From 1991-94 he was first secretary, then second counsellor, in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where he represented France at the Arusha peace talks on Rwanda and during Operation Turquoise.

In 1995, Belliard moved to Washington DC to serve as press director and spokesman at the French embassy. From 1997-2001 he was consul general in Cape Town, South Africa, after which he returned to Paris as deputy director for Africa, 2001-04. During this time he also lectured at the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

From 2004-08 he was Javier Solana’s personal envoy for Africa at the EU emissary for Zimbabwe, Brussels, after which he was appointed French ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative to the African Union, 2009-12, and then French ambassador to Madagascar, 2012.

Most recently he was the director for Africa and the Indian Ocean at the French ministry of foreign affairs, 2012-16, before becoming deputy secretary general in September 2016.   He has been awarded a chevalier de l’ordre national du mérite and a chevalier de l’ordre de la légion d’honneur