Fleur Pellerin

Fleur Pellerin
French Minister of Culture and Communications
In office
26 August 2014  11 February 2016
President François Hollande
Prime Minister Manuel Valls
Preceded by Aurélie Filippetti
Succeeded by Audrey Azoulay
Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Tourism Promotion and French overseas
In office
9 April 2014  26 August 2014
President François Hollande
Prime Minister Manuel Valls
Preceded by Nicole Bricq (Foreign Trade)
Sylvia Pinel (Tourism)
Hélène Conway-Mouret (French overseas)
Succeeded by Thomas Thévenoud
Minister Delegate with responsibility for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Innovation and the Digital Economy
In office
16 May 2012  2 April 2014
President François Hollande
Prime Minister Manuel Valls
Preceded by Éric Besson
Succeeded by Axelle Lemaire
Personal details
Born (1973-08-29) 29 August 1973
Seoul, South Korea
Alma mater ESSEC; Sciences Po, Paris; ENA, Strasbourg
Commandeur des Arts et Lettres insignia

Fleur Pellerin (French pronunciation: [flœʁ pɛl.ʁɛ̃]; born 29 August 1973) is a French Socialist politician who served as French government minister from 2012 to 2016.

Early life

Pellerin was born in 1973 in Seoul, South Korea, where she was abandoned on the streets only three or four days' old before being rescued by an orphanage; six months later she was adopted by a French family.[1][2] According to her adoption records she was called Kim Jong-Suk (김종숙, 金鍾淑), although it is unclear how she came by that name. Raised by middle-class parents — her father, who has a doctorate in nuclear physics, is a small-business owner — she grew up in two Paris suburbs, Montreuil and Versailles.[3]

Early career

Pellerin graduated from ESSEC business school (Master's degree in Management) while she was just 21. She then graduated from Sciences Po (MPA) before attending the École nationale d'administration (ENA). She joined the French Court of Auditors where she rose to become a high-ranking civil servant. From 2010 to 2012, Pellerin served as president of the 21st Century Club, a French group that promotes diversity in employment.[4]

Political career

Pellerin took charge of society and digital economy issues for Socialist Party candidate François Hollande in his successful 2012 French presidential election campaign.[5]

In July 2012, Pellerin publicly announced her opposition to the sale of massive surveillance technologies causing quite a stir in French political circles since France is one of the biggest sellers of such technology.[6]

Minister of Culture and Communications, 2014–2015

In March 2015, Pellerin nominated Serge Lasvignes to head the Centre Pompidou, in a surprise choice to replace Alain Seban.[7] Under her leadership, the French Culture Ministry made a bid in September 2015 to purchase one of a highly coveted pair of Rembrandt portraits from Éric de Rothschild for the Louvre in Paris, offering 80 million euros, or about $90 million.[8]

As part of a major government reshuffle in early 2016, Pellerin was replaced by Audrey Azoulay, who at the time served as Hollande’s cultural advisor.[9]


Shortly after Pellerin was appointed Minister of Culture, the French magazine L’Express reported that she vacationed at the Corsican villa owned by film producer Pascal Breton, raising ethics questions.[10]

Personal life

Pellerin is married to Laurent Olléon, also an ENA graduate, who works for the Council of State providing legal advice to the French government.

See also


  1. "From adoptee to French minister". The Dong-A Ilbo. 19 May 2012. Pellerin overcame a sense of inferiority and defeat coming from being an abandoned child with the enlightened view that "something important happens by accident."
  2. "Korean Adoptee Becomes French Deputy Minister". The Chosunilbo. 1 June 2012. born in Seoul in 1973, Pellerin was found on the streets of the capital when she was three or four days old and was sent to an orphanage. She was adopted six months later.
  3. Eric Pfanner and David Jolly (January 16, 2013), Pushing France Onto the Digital Stage International Herald Tribune.
  4. Eric Pfanner and David Jolly (January 16, 2013), Pushing France Onto the Digital Stage International Herald Tribune.
  5. Agence-France Presse/Jiji Press, "Pellerin stirs Korean hearts", Japan Times, 20 May 2012, p. 3
  6. Adam Sandle, Fleur Pellerin: "I am opposed to France selling massive surveillance technologies", Groundreport, 25 July 2012
  7. Doreen Carvajal (March 3, 2015), New Leader Nominated for Pompidou Center in Paris New York Times.
  8. Nina Siegal (September 25, 2015), France Makes Bid to Buy Rembrandt Portrait New York Times.
  9. Jean-Christophe Castelain (February 12, 2016), Audrey Azoulay replaces Fleur Pellerin as France’s culture minister The Art Newspaper.
  10. Doreen Carvajal (September 12, 2014), Europeans Bracing for Netflix New York Times.
Political offices
Preceded by
Aurélie Filippetti

Minister for Culture

Succeeded by
Audrey Azoulay
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