The Board

The Board | The Advisory Board | The team

The Board

Click on the profile picture to read the resume

Nicolas SeydouxChairman of the Forum d’Avignon and Chairman of Gaumont.
Hervé DigneChairman-Founder of Postmedia Finance, Vice Chairman of the Forum d’Avignon.
Axel GanzPublisher-Head of AG Communication, Member of the Board Gruner+Jahr and Vice Chairman of the Forum d’Avignon.
Emmanuel HoogPresident of the AFP (Agence France-Presse).
Renaud Donnedieu de VabresFormer Minister of Culture and communication.
Jean-Jacques AnnaudFilm director.
Patricia BarbizetManaging Director, Financière Pinault.
Laurent BenzoniUniversity Professor.
Emmanuel ChainProducer and President of Elephant & Cie.
Laurence FranceschiniGeneral Director for media development and cultural industries, Ministry of Culture and communication.
Alain KouckCEO of Editis Holding.
Véronique MoraliChairman of Fimalac Développement, founder of Terrafemina web site.
Pascal RogardDirecteur général de la SACD (Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques).
Pierre LescureManaging director of the théâtre Marigny and journalist.

A team of partners to lead the task groups

All along the year, task groups deal with the themes of the next edition of the Forum. It brings together the partners of the Forum d’Avignon and experts. They guide the reflection of the international consultancy firms, partners of the Forum.

Nicolas SEYDOUX - Honorary Chairman

A graduate of the Law Faculty of Paris and Sciences-po Paris (IEP), Nicolas Seydoux was Chairman and CEO of Gaumont from 1975 to 2004. Since 2004, he is President of Gaumont. Since 2002 he also is President of the Association against Audiovisual Piracy Association (ALPA) and since 2003, Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Arte France. Since 2008, he is Honorary Chairman of the Association Forum d’Avignon.

Hervé DIGNE – Chairman

A graduate of the ENA, Hervé Digne entered the Ministry of the Economy and Finance in 1982 where he worked on the launching of “wired technologies”, as the person in charge of telecommunications and defense budget. He quitted the civil service to join the company Hachette (then Lagardère) where he held diverse managing positions. In 2005 he became the Media advisor of the Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, also in charge of the convergence of the Media and telecommunications and cinema. Since 2007, he chairs Postmedia finance, a consulting firm in strategy and M&A in the field of the Media and digital convergence. He is a Senior Advisor of Neuflize OBC and trustee of EuropaCorp, Luc Besson’s production company. He also is the president of the Forum d’Avignon and a trustee of the National Center for fine arts.

Axel GANZ  - Vice-chairman

Starting as a journalist, Axel Ganz quickly became Editor-in-Chief and Journalist-Manager for dailies, generalist magazines, television and women’s titles. In 1979, he launched the Prisma-Presse group in France, which has today become France’s number two in magazines, counting at least twenty well-known titles:  Géo, Capital, Télé-Loisirs, Femme Actuelle, Voici, Gala, Télé 2 semaines and Télé Grandes Chaînes. He has been a member of the Executive Board of the Gruner+Jahr Group (Bertelsmann’s press Division) for 15 years, handling international business and head of subsidiaries in the United States, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia and China. During his career, he launched some 60 magazines in these countries and is currently on the Supervisory board.

Emmanuel HOOG 

A graduate of the IEP of Paris, the ENA and auditor of the 56th National IHEDN, Emmanuel Hoog began his career as chief financial and budget officer of the Ministry of Culture and Communication before becoming, in1992 director of Théâtre National de l’Odéon/Théâtre de l’Europe, and from 1997 to 1998 he was the Mananging director of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano. Between June 1997 and March 2000, he was adviser for culture and audiovisual to Mr. Fabius, president of the National Assembly and, from March 2000 to February 2001, an adviser to Mr. Fabius, Minister of Economy , Finance and Industry, in charge of culture, audiovisual, media enterprises and cultural industries. He then chaired the Fiat (International Federation of Television Archives) until 2006. He is Chairman of the Maison de la Poésie in Paris (since 2006), the Committee of television history (since 2008), the COPEAM (Permanent Conference of Mediterranean Audiovisual) (2008-2010). CEO of the National Institute of Audiovisual from 2001 to 2010, he has chaired since April 2010 the Agence France Presse.
He has published several reports and books related to culture, as well as numerous articles in national newspapers. He is Officier des Arts et des Lettres, Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite et Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.


A Sciences-po Paris (IEP) and ENA graduate, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres entered the prefectural administration before starting his political career. He held among others the function of regional advisor (1986-2001), representative of Indre-et-Loire (1997-2007) and city councilman of Tours (since 2001). Appointed Minister in charge of European affairs in 2002, he becomes Minister of Culture and Communication in 2004. As such, he re-opened the Grand Palais to the public and developed there a deliberately eclectic programming (Monumenta, FIAC, Biennale des antiquaires, Rue au Grand Palais). Promoter of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, he also decided the setting-up of a branch of the Louvre in Lens. He now is the advisor in charge of the strategy, the development and culture of the Allard Company and chairs the board of directors of Atout France.

Jean-Jacques ANNAUD

A graduate of France’s Louis Lumière and the Institute of Cinematography (now FEMIS), Jean-Jacques Annaud also pursued Greek and History studies at the Sorbonne. After directing more than 100 advertising films and winning several awards, he directed his first full length feature film in 1976, Black and White in Color which received an Oscar for best foreign film. In 1981 he signed his first international success, The Qwest for Fire, winning two César’s for best movie and director.  In 1986, The Name of the Rose won the César for the best foreign film, as well as the Donatello and award for best German film. In 1988, The Bear was a box-office success, and won several awards including the César for best director. In 1991, The Lover, won a Japanese film critic award for best director and best movie. In 1997, Seven Years in Tibet won the Dutch grand movie award for best art film in Germany. In 2001, he directed Stalingradwhich reaped the best American box-office scores. In 2004, Two Brothers won the Genesis Award. In 2007, Jean-Jacques Annaud signed His Minor Majesty. He has received a number of awards: Knight of the Academic Palm and Social merit, Commander of Arts and Letters and the Cesar for best filmed advertisement (1985), the French Academy Prize and the National Grand Prize of Cinema. Jean-Jacques Annaud is also a member of the Institute of France.


Patricia Barbizet currently is the CEO of Artemis and Financière Pinault (since 1992) and Vice Chairman of the Board of PPR, Chairman of Christie's and director of various companies of the PPR group. She also is administrator of Bouygues, Air France and Total and chairman of the investment committee of the ISP (Strategic Investment Fund). In 1989, she joined the Pinault Group as Chief Financial Officer and then Executive Vice President in charge of finance. From 1977 to 1989 she held various positions within the Finance Department at Renault Industrial Vehicles and Renault Credit International.
She graduated from ESCP-EUROPE. She is Officier de la Légion d'Honneur et Commandeur de l'Ordre National du Mérite.

Laurent BENZONI 

Specialized in industrial, competition and digital economics, fields in which he published many articles and books, Laurent Benzoni is professor at the University Paris 2 (Sorbonne), member of the laboratory of economics law, where he chairs vocational and research master programs on internet and medias. He founded TERA Consultants in 1996, a consulting firm specialized in competition, regulation, costing and strategy. His passion for the jobs of art made him buy the forges of Coligny in 2011, which he consolidated with Maison-Moutard, ironworks created at the end of the 18th Century. 

Emmanuel CHAIN 

A graduate of HEC (1985), journalist, TV producer, Emmanuel Chain spent 10 years in M6, where he was director of information and created the show CAPITAL. In 2000, he founded with his partner Thierry Bizot, the production group Elephant. With its various subsidiaries, Elephant & Company (magazine), Elephant Story (fiction), Elephant TV (flows and entertainment), Elephant Doc (documentaries), Elephant at work (businesses and new markets), Asian Elephant (production in China, India, South East Asia), the Elephant Group is now an independent producer of TV and multimedia contents, which employs 120 people.


A graduate of the Sciences Po Paris (IEP) and the ENA, high-ranked civil servant, Laurence Franceschini successively held the functions of head of the legal department of the National Audiovisual Council and of deputy director of the audiovisual communication of the legal and technical service for information and communication. In April 2004, she is appointed assistant director of the cabinet of the Minister of Culture and communication.

From 2007 to 2009, Laurence Franceschini has been the head of the Media development and since January 2010 she holds the function of managing director of the Media and cultural industries at the Ministry of Culture and communication.


Alain Kouck started his career in the industry, joining the Hachette group in 1980 as a Deputy manager in the Book Distribution segment. Between 1986 and 1996, he held several jobs including Managing Director of the Industries and Services branch. In 1996, he moved to Havas subsidiary CEP Communication as Deputy General Manager in charge of sales and industrial activities for magazines and books. After the 1998 merger between Havas and water works, Compagnie générale des Eaux, Alain Kouck became Deputy Director for the Havas industries and sales. In September 2001, he became Deputy Managing Director of Vivendi Universal Publishing. In 2002, he also became Executive Vice President of logistics, manufacturing and purchasing of Vivendi Universal. In December 2002, Vivendi Universal Publishing sold its European publishing business to the Lagardère group, and the Natexis group appointed Alain Kouck as Chairman of the VUP-Investima 10 board. In October 2003, VUP-Investima 10 changed its name to Editis. In September 2004, Editis became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wendel Investissement, and Alain Kouck was named CEO of Editis and Chairman of the Editis Holding board. In May 2008, Editis was acquired by Grupo Planeta and in March 2009, Alain Kouck was named Vice-president and General Manager of Editis. He also is a member of the board National Publishers Union.

Véronique MORALI 

A graduate of Sciences po (IEP) and the ESCP, Véronique Morali enters the ENA and the auditing Department of the Treasury before joining Fimalac in 1990 – a firm specialized in financial rating along with Fitsch group and Algorithmics, as an administrator and managing director. She is an administratof of Fimalac, Cie Financière Edmond de Rothschild, Coca Cola Entreprise, Publicis and Women’s forum. She now is the President of Fimalac Development and Vice-chairman of Fitch group, 3rd rating agency worldwide. She founded the editorial website She also chairs the association Force Femmes, which supports women over 45 to find a job, and chairs the MEDEF economic talks commission. She co-founded the Women Corporate Directors Paris.

Pascal ROGARD 

A graduate in Public law, Pascal Rogard , born in 1949, studied at Sciences po Paris (IEP). He starts his career creating a theatre company and directing several plays and held from 1981 to 2003 different functions within professional organizations such as general secretary of the French Film Producers and Venturers Union, general secretary of the C.I.C.C.E. (European Film and audiovisual Industries Comitee), managing director of the A.R.P ( Authors, Film directors and producers society). In 2004, he is appointed Managing Director of the Society for dramatic Authors and Composers and chairs the French coalition for cultural diversity. Since July 2005, he chairs the review committee and the commission supporting audiovisual production of the region Rhône-Alpes. He also is Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, Commandeur de l’Ordre du Mérite National, Commandeur des Arts et Lettres.


Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the theater Marigny, in Paris, Pierre Lescure is awarded a diploma by the Training center of the journalists (CFJ). As organizer, producer and journalist, he worked on RTL, RMC, Antenne 2 (The Children of the Rock and the manager of the editorial staff), Europe 1, before preparing with André Rousselet the launch in 1984 of the new pay channel Canal+. He will be the director, then the managing director in 1986. He became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the group Canal+ in 1994 and until 2002.
Pierre Lescure was named in producing 2008 and Chief Operating Officer of the theater Marigny where he succeeded Robert Hossein. He was a member of the supervisory board of the company Le Monde, administrator of Thomson (2002-2010) and is always member of the "middle school of the persons qualified" as the Foundation Technicolor for the heritageof the cinema. He is an administrator of Havas, the Swiss group Kudelski and the Spanish company PrisaTV. He is a member of the supervisory board of the group Lagardère.