Digital Ocean Forum 2024


Olivier Poivre d’Arvor

Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

French Ambassador for the Poles and the Oceans

Diplomat, cultural manager, specialist in maritime issues, writer. Trained as a philosopher, Olivier Poivre d'Arvor began his career as a literary adviser in various publishing houses, as an actor and director, and as a journalist. Winner of a Villa Médicis “hors les Murs” scholarship (United States, 1987), he then held various positions in the French network abroad: director of the French Cultural Centre in Alexandria (1988-1990), he successively reopened the French Institute in Prague (1990-1994), then directed the French Institute in the United Kingdom and held the position of Cultural Counsellor at the French Embassy in London (1994-1999). From 2000 to 2010, he directed the Association française d'Action Artistique (AFAA), which became Culturesfrance in 2006, and then set up the Institut Français. He was the French organiser of the Year of China in France (2003-2004) and the Year of France in China (2004-2005). In 2007, he joined the Quai d'Orsay as Minister Plenipotentiary. Appointed Director of France Culture in the summer of 2010, he ran the public service station until September 2015. He was then appointed Ambassador in charge of France's cultural appeal, and launched the Grand Tour (January-July 2016). Appointed French Ambassador to Tunisia, he will serve from 2016 to 2020. In 2005, he produced the first edition of the Marathon des mots in Toulouse, a festival at the crossroads of words and texts, now the second-largest literary event in France in terms of attendance. Specialist in maritime and environmental issues, he has been Chairman of the Musée national de la Marine since 2014, and in 2018 founded the Saison bleue and, with Pascal Lamy, the World Maritime Forum/Bizerte. In December 2020, he was appointed Ambassador for the Oceans and Poles, and in January 2022, Special Envoy of the President of the French Republic for the United Nations Ocean Conference, for which he is the French organiser (Nice, June 2025). Novelist, biographer and essayist Olivier Poivre d'Arvor has published numerous works. Winner of the Prix Renaudot des lycéens for his novel Le Voyage du fils, he is also the acclaimed author of Le Jour où j'ai rencontré ma fille (The Day I Met My Daughter), as well as a dozen books devoted to maritime adventure, grouped together in L'Odyssée des Marins (The Seafarers' Odyssey).

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