Associate experts

Jean-Paul Paloméros
Defence, Aeronautics
After spending 40 years at the Ministry of Defense, General Jean-Paul Paloméros retired in 2015. A graduate of the Ecole de l'Air in 1975, as well as the Royal Air Force Staff College in Bracknell (Great Britain) in 1992, General Paloméros has a real expertise of the aeronautical world and international defense and security issues. In addition to his 4,100 flight hours and 86 war missions, the General has held the positions of Chief of Staff of the French Air Force (from 2009 to 2012) and Supreme Allied Commander for NATO Transformation (from 2012 to 2015). Since 2015, he has been active as a consultant in the field of defense and security for national, European and foreign institutions, think tanks, and private companies. In 2017, he was the military advisor of Emmanuel Macron during his presidential campaign.
Christian Béchon
Public Health policy, Science policy
Christian Béchon, an engineer from the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, a graduate of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, a former student of the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, and a senior advisor to the Cour des Comptes, is a recognized expert in the field of health, notably through his career:
President of the French Fractionation and Biotechnology Laboratory (2006 - 2017)
Director of the cabinet of the Minister of Health (1995) then of Economy and Industry (2002 - 2004)
Former Secretary General of the Institute for Nuclear Protection and Safety (IPSN) and of the National Center for Space Studies (CNES)
Jesús Jiménez
International relations
Jesús Jiménez is a member of Avisa Partners' Strategic Committee and has spent most of his career in the Middle East and Africa. Specialist in the region's business environment, Jesús works primarily in Kuwait, where he is the special representative for emerging countries at the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA).
Olivier Darrason
Publics Affairs, Strategic Intelligence, Defence
Olivier Darrason founded CEIS in 1997. A former student of ENA (promotion d'Aguesseau), he was first sub-prefect in Guadeloupe (1982) and in the Var (1983-1986), chief of staff of the Minister of Culture and Communication (1986-1988), Secretary General of SVP, a management consulting firm (1990-1993). Elected Deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône (Istres-Fos-Martigues-Saint-Mitre- Port-de-Bouc) from 1993 to 1997. He is a specialist in economic intelligence, defense and cybersecurity issues. He also was President of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale) from 2006 to 2012.
Gérard Askinazi
Strategic Communication, Events
Gérard Askinazi has over 30 years of experience advising states, institutions, companies, and personalities on issues of strategic positioning, image management, and visibility. He has participated in the organization of the Davos World Economic Forum and WEF events in New York, Amman, and Sharm el Sheikh. He also organized ceremonies inaugurating the new Suez Canal, the festivities surrounding UNESCO's 70th anniversary, the Summit of the Francophonie (Madagascar), and the COP22. Gérard is the former global vice president of Publicis Events and is a counsellor for foreign trade of France, as well as a knight in the order of the French Legion of Honour.
Joe Trippi
Democratic Strategist (US), Public Affairs
Joe Trippi is an American Democratic political strategist and technology consultant. He has served on campaign teams in multiple U.S. elections, including presidential campaigns and Democratic primaries for such Democratic candidates as Edward Kennedy, Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Dick Gephardt, Jerry Brown, Howard Dean and John Edwards. During Howard Dean's 2004 campaign, he pioneered the use of the Internet as a means of rallying supporters around a candidate and raising campaign funds. His methods have inspired dozens of candidates around the world.
Ardavan Amir-Aslani
International relations
Member of the strategic committee of Avisa Partners, Ardavan Amir-Aslani is a Franco-Iranian lawyer and author of several books on international relations and Middle East geopolitics. Specialist in international law, he advises several States and high-level personalities in the Middle East, notably in Bahrain.
Isao Iijima
International relations, Democratic Strategist (Japan)
Isao Iijima was the Special Advisor to former ex-Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.
Paul Hatch
Affaires publiques, Politique américaine
Paul Hatch est actuellement Président de Nextlaw Public Affairs Network, affilié à Dentons et a été Conseiller de Benazir Bhutto (2001 – 2006) puis du Kurdistan irakien (2005 – 2008) et également Directeur général de l’association des gouverneurs républicains aux États-Unis (1993 – 1996).
Ellen Pinchuk
Strategic Communication
Ellen PINCHUK is a Award-winning television reporter for CTV (Canada) and Bloomberg TV based in Moscow and Deputy CEO for Mikhailov and Partners, the largest communications consultancy in Eastern Europe. She's also a frequent commentator on Russian language television.
Patrick Calvar
Security, Investigation & Compliance
Patrick Calvar was Director of the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) (2014 – 2017), Central Director of Internal Intelligence (2012 – 2014) and Director of Intelligence at the Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) (2009 – 2012).
Lawrence B. Lindsey
Economy, Democratic Strategist
Avisa Partners Advisory Board Member. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Lindsey Group. ​ Prior to forming The Lindsey Group, he held the position of Assistant to the President and Director of the National Economic Council at the White House and was the Chief Economic Advisor to candidate George W. Bush during the 2000 Presidential campaign. Dr. Lindsey also served as a Governor of the Federal Reserve System from 1991 to 1997, as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Economic Policy during the first Bush Administration, and as Senior Staff Economist for Tax Policy at the Council of Economic Advisers during President Reagan's first term. Dr. Lindsey earned his A.B. Magna Cum Laude from Bowdoin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.​
Lynton Crosby
Publics affairs, strategic communication
President of Crosby Textor Group. Australia’s Lynton Crosby is one of the most prominent international political consultants. He has managed numerous electoral campaigns, notably those of David Cameron and Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016.
Eric BESSON
Industrial Policy, Public Affairs
Eric Besson served as France’s Minister of Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy from 2010-2012 and Minister of Immigration, Integration and National Identity from 2009-2010. He served as State Secretary for Prospectives and Evaluating Public Policies from 2007-2009 and sat in France’s National Assembly from 1997-2007.
James K. GLASSMAN
Democratic Strategist, international relations, public Affairs
James K. GLASSMAN was Secretary of State for Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2008 – 2009) and Frequent commentator in the American press, including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Forbes
Maurice GOURDAULT-MONTAGNE
International relations, public Affairs
A life-long diplomat and Ambassadeur de France, Maurice Gourdault-Montagne has an impressive track record in international diplomacy. He is a recognised specialist of the Middle-East where he lived for several years. Maurice Gourdault-Montagne served as Secretary General of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France (2017-2019).
Maurice Gourdault-Montagne was the diplomatic adviser of France’s President Jacques Chirac between 2002 and 2007 - acting as his sherpa during the G8 summit in Evian in 2003. Between 1995 and 1997, Maurice was chief of staff to Prime Minister Alain Juppé.
General Didier LOOTEN
Expert in cybersecurity, defence and security, crisis management, in the aeronautics and space sector
During more than 40 years in the service of the Armed Forces and of the Air and Space Force, General Didier Looten has alternated between command positions close to military operations and high-level positions of responsibility in staff, directorates, and ministerial cabinets in the field of digital technology and its security. He has developed key skills, such as command of operational units, management of complex programmes with high strategic stakes, management of multidisciplinary teams of up to 2,300 people, and crisis management in an interministerial environment. Didier Looten has more than 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, a field in which he has held all levels of responsibility. He is driven by operational and strategic issues, fuelled by team spirit, and convinced that efficiency depends on the coordination of talents. He is an engineer of the French 'Ecole de l'Air' and was an auditor at the 19th session of the 'Institut National des Hautes Études de Sécurité' (French Higher Institute of Security Studies) and at the 64th session of the 'Institut des Hautes Études de la Défense Nationale' (French Higher Institute of National Defence). He was also commander of the 'Cité de l'Air de Paris' (Paris Air City); responsible for strategy at the French General Directorate of Information and Communication Systems; head of the coherence division of joint programmes at the Armed Forces Staff; commander of the armed forces in French Guyana from 2017 to 2020; and adviser to the Minister of the Armed Forces in the field of digital security until his farewell to arms in February 2021. General Didier Looten is Commander of the Legion of Honour and of the National Order of Merit, and holder of the 'Croix de Guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures' (war medal for external theatres of operations) and of the Aeronautics Medal.
Loïc Finaz
Defense, Naval sector
Former director of the Ecole de Guerre, Admiral Loïc Finaz is a specialist in naval military operations and submarine warfare. As an officer in the French Navy, he commanded the Tiger training ship, the Jean Moulin aviso and the anti-submarine frigate Latouche-Tréville. A transformation expert, he has also worked on the French Navy's HR policy, notably by directing and restructuring the Navy's Recruitment Service. He has also directed the Navy's Centre for Strategic Studies, the Navy Command in Paris and the National Museum of the Navy. Admiral Finaz is a graduate of the Ecole Navale, the Naval War College and the Executive MBA from HEC. He founded the Fondation de la Mer, of which he is the Vice President. He also co-founded and co-directs the Defense & Leadership Chair at ESSEC. A novelist and poet, he is a member of the “Les Ecrivains de marine”association. He also launched the Editions de l'Ecole de guerre publishing house. His sixth book, La liberté du commandement (The Freedom of Command), is an essay on management. He is a founding partner of the consulting firm Esprit d'Equipage et d'Entreprise (3E).
Patrick Charaix
Nuclear deterrence, defense and security
General Patrick Charaix is an expert in nuclear deterrence, as well as defense and security issues, who has spent more than 36 years in the French Air Force. A graduate of the Air Force Academy and a former fighter pilot and auditor of the 57th session of the Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defense, Gen. Charaix served as the Commander of the Djibouti base, the deputy head of the office of “Military Studies and Strategies” at the French Defense Staff, and then the Commander-in-Chief of the French Strategic Air Forces. He regularly appears in the French media as an expert on military issues and teaches at Sciences Po Bordeaux, the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) and the Paris War School. He is also President of the Association des Pilotes de Chasse and President of the French Air Force Foundation. Gen. Charaix is Commander of the Legion of Honor and Officer of the National Order of Merit.
Michel Benedittini
Cybersecurity, Naval sector, defense
Vice-Admiral (2S) of the French Navy, Michel is a graduate of the École Navale (1973-1975), the École des officiers transmetteurs de la marine (1979) and the École de guerre (1990). He first served as a naval officer (10 sea postings, including 4 commands; 8 at naval or army staffs) from 1975 to 2006, then as Deputy Director General of the French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI, and previously Deputy Director of the DCSSI) between 2006 and 2012. He then served as Secretary General of the White Paper on Defence and National Security from 2012 to 2013.
Amanda Loveday
Democratic Strategist
Amanda Loveday’s passion for meeting new people and building relationships is what has made her a powerhouse in politics and communications. A decade of experience in broadcast journalism and politics taught her the importance of getting to know the community and how to interact with people, especially those with different personalities and backgrounds. Amanda graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and started her television career at Dateline NBC as an Assistant Producer in New York City. She moved back home to work with SCETV, the statewide PBS affiliate, on their successful Ready to Vote campaign, where she interviewed all 20 candidates for President during the 2008 election cycle, and the weekly news magazine program, The Big Picture. During her television tenure, Loveday covered the 2008 Presidential Republican and Democratic Primaries, the 2008 Democratic National Convention and even served as the emcee for then-Senator Barack Obama’s rally with Oprah Winfrey at Williams Brice Stadium. After spending time covering politics as a journalist, Amanda found her calling in politics and became more involved on a partisan level. She effectively managed campaigns from the statehouse level to the statewide level and served as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Democratic Party. Prior to joining NP Strategy, Amanda served as the Communications Director to Majority Whip James E. Clyburn. Amanda has been honored with South Carolina's, “20 Under 40” award and has been named a “Top Political Influencer” by Campaigns and Elections Magazine. She also sits on numerous local boards including being appointed by Governor Henry McMaster to the State Election Commission, where she served until late 2019. During the 2020 election cycle, Amanda served as a Chief of Staff to Unite the Country, the pro-Biden SuperPac.
Alain Christienne
Digital transformation, geopolitics, naval and military data
Vice-admiral (2S) of the French Navy and a graduate of the École Navale (1978-1980), Alain held three commands at sea (aviso, oil tanker, frigate) before holding leading positions at the Naval Action Force Headquarters (2005-2008), the Joint Directorate for Defence Infrastructure Networks and Information Systems (2008-2014) and the Directorate for Military Intelligence (2014-2017).
Jean-Luc Soulé
Sponsorship & Corporate Philanthropy, International Relations, Culture
Founding President in 2004 of MEC'ENE/Mécénat & Entreprise, a strategic consulting firm specialising in corporate patronage and sponsorship, CSR approach, and the implementation of fundraising campaigns for public or private legal entities.

Jean-Luc Soulé advises major national or European groups and local authorities, helping them in their approach to patronage and sponsorship, CSR, and communication of influence. He has nearly 40 years of experience in mobilising French and foreign funds for sponsorship and philanthropy projects carried out by public partners (public authorities or public institutions) and by various NGOs or NPOs (not-for-profit organisations).

He has also been a diplomat in the Middle East (Sultanate of Oman); a member of the Cabinet of the Prefect of Police in Paris; the Secretary General of the 'Forum des Images' in Paris (President: Jacques Chirac); the Cultural Counsellor and Director of the 'Institut Français' in Hungary (French Embassy in Hungary, Budapest); and the Art Director at the 'Académie de France' in Rome/Villa Medici (Rome).

Founder and President since 1983 of the 'Festival de musique du Périgord Noir' (Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region). Secretary General of the 'Fondation Culturespaces' (Paris).

Throughout his professional career, he has carried out various missions in Europe, the United States, China, the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Gulf countries, Syria, Turkey), French-speaking Africa (Maghreb, Black Africa) and South-East Asia. He has been invited to numerous European and international symposia and conferences.

Graduate of 'IEP de Paris', he holds a master’s degree in public law (Assas-Paris 2) and a bachelor’s degree in classical literature (Sorbonne Paris 1); Ecole du Louvre, attendee at the national session of IHEDN (2006/2007), colonel of the air force citizen's reserve. Lecturer at ENA of Tunis and Sciences Po Paris (for the last 20 years). Spoken and written languages: French, English, Italian, German, Hungarian. Author of "L’art de vivre en Hongrie" [The way of life in Hungary] (Flammarion).
Etienne Germain
International security, crisis management
Formerly the security director for Alstom, Etienne Germain is a specialist in security issues and risk analysis. A graduate of the ESM Saint-Cyr and the École de Guerre, he also holds a Master 2 in Political Science from the Sorbonne. He previously held operational responsibilities in the French Army and in the General Staff, and was director of a crisis management centre for the armed forces in French Guiana.
Michel de Gliniasty
Aerospace, space, nuclear, defence
Michel de Gliniasty is a graduate of the Polytechnique (1969) and ENSTA (1974), and Engineer General of Armaments. He has devoted most of his career to research, first at the General Directorate for Armament (Centre d'Etudes de Gramat, 1974-1981), at the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) (1981-2000), and at the National Office for Aerospace Studies and Research (ONERA, 2000-2010), where he was Director General of Science, in charge of programming and evaluation of scientific research. He is trilingual in French, English and Russian.
Carlos Khouzami
Sport, sports betting, gambling and games of chance
Based in Paris, Carlos joined Avisa as an associate expert in the betting, gaming and sports sector. Carlos is a former international director and board member of major European groups such as Banca Commerciale Italiana (COMIT), Mondial Assistance and PMU. He speaks French, English, Arabic, Spanish and Italian and understands Portuguese, German and Russian.
Franz Kraus
European regulatory affairs, food
Franz is a seasoned expert in public and government affairs, with more than 20 years of experience in Brussels, both in the public and private sector, as well as with civil society and international organisations. Formerly in charge of European public affairs at BMW and then advisor to two Members of the European Parliament for eight years, he then joined Kraft Foods/Mondelez International to work on subjects ranging from biotechnology to food issues. His expertise covers a wide range of subjects, including budgetary control, fight against fraud, social affairs, transport, environment, consumer protection and public health. Franz holds a university degree in English literature and European history and is a specialist in European political procedures . His working languages are English, French and German, and he has basic knowledge of Spanish and a limited knowledge of Dutch.
Jean-Christophe Le Toquin
European affairs, cybersecurity, cybercrime
Jean-Christophe Le Toquin is a public affairs consultant with deep experience in implementing confidence-building initiatives in the field of cybersecurity and the fight against cybercrime. Founder and President of SOCOGI SAS since 2013, he sits on the Board of Directors and assists in the development of tech companies. In 2015, he co-founded CyAN, a network of experts in cybersecurity and cybercrime, of which he is also President. From 2003 to 2013, he was in charge of the Digital Crimes Unit of Microsoft Europe and Middle East Africa (MEA), and founded the Internet Service Providers Association, of which he was General Delegate from 1997 to 2003. A lawyer by training, he is a member of the Paris Bar.
Denis MacShane
European affairs, international relations
Denis MacShane is a former British Member of Parliament, and served as the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and then Minister for European Affairs in Tony Blair's government. He has also been a member of the Council of Europe and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. A leading specialist in international relations and European policies, he has written some twenty books. He is credited in particular with the invention of the word "Brexit". Denis has from a wide network in the Anglo-Saxon and European political and media world. He continues to write regularly for European and American media outlets including the Financial Times, Le Monde, Libération, Die Welt, The Globalist and Slate. In addition to his native English, Denis is fluent in French and German.
Mikko Ohela
Environment, forestry, European affairs
Prior to joining Avisa Partners, Mikko worked for many years for the Metsä Group, one of Europe's leading forest industry groups, where he held various management positions, including leading the international corporate affairs function. He has also worked for the European Commission on trade and environmental issues of forest products. He has also worked for the European Free Trade Association Supervisory Authority (EFTA), where he was in charge of 170 Internal Market Directives, ranging from motor vehicles to medical devices.
Jean-Philippe Olier
Aerospace, Space, Environment, Energy Industries
A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique (1975) and Chief Engineer of the Corps des Mines, Jean-Philippe Olier has 40 years of industrial experience in management and strategy positions. In particular, he has held various senior management positions, including R&D Director of the Air Liquide Group, Director General of Saretec and General Manager of Snecma Propulsion Solide. From 2008 to 2019, he was Business Development Director within the Strategy & M&A department of the SAFRAN Group. In parallel with his professional activities, he has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais (LNE) since 2010.
Enrico Ponzone
Finance, circular economy, food, international relations, European affairs
Prior to joining Avisa Partners in 2016 as a specialist in financial, commercial and agricultural issues, Enrico had a long career in several major international investment banks based in London, including Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, Deutsche Bank, and fund manager F&C Management. He was also Director of Public Affairs at EUBrasil, a Brussels-based association responsible for overseeing trade policy, market access and trade negotiations between Europe and Brazil. An economics graduate from Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, Enrico is fluent in Italian, French, English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Richard Pouillaude
Banking, Specialised Financial Services, Transformation, Risk Management
Richard Pouillaude, a graduate of ESCP (1988), has nearly 30 years of experience in banking and finance. Following various operational positions, he held the Director General position for 20 years. After becoming a consulting engineer at Accenture, he led numerous operational and strategic transformation projects in different environments. He also chaired a fintech company specialised in payment systems. Pouillade is a lecturer in Internal Audit and Management Control at the Master 2 level, and associate lecturer on risk management at Toulouse Business School (TBS). He is also an associate expert at CEIS in the Banking and Finance division, and works as a consultant for various banks on projects of operational excellence and digital transformation, particularly in West Africa.
Jean Rannou
Aerospace, defence
Air Force General (2S) Jean Rannou was Chief of the Military Cabinet of the Minister of Defence, Major General of the Armed Forces Staff and then Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1995-2000). In addition, he was senior adviser at the Court of Auditors (2000-2004). Concurrent to his activities at CEIS, Jean Rannou is a member of the Defence Scientific Council, an advisory body to the Minister of Defence, as well as President of the EuroDéfense Association.
Michel Troubetzkoy
Aerospace, defence, space, European affairs
Before joining Avisa Partners in 2013, Michel had a long career in the diplomatic and industrial world. In charge of international issues for the French Ministry of Economy and Finance for 16 years, he specialised in international trade, aerospace and defence issues. He then became President of Aerospatiale Canada before moving to Brussels as Permanent Representative to the European Union and NATO. Until 2012, Troubetzkoy was the Director of Public Affairs for the European Union and NATO for Airbus (formerly EADS). At the same time, Michel was the Chairman of the External Affairs Commission of the European Aerospace and Defence Industry Association, President of the “Europe et Défense” Club, and President of the Club of Representatives of large French Companies in Brussels. After more than twenty years in Brussels, Michel has a unique knowledge of all EU and NATO issues of interest to the aerospace and defence industry.
Laura Vivani
Research, Innovation, Science, European Affairs
Laura has worked for over 20 years on European Union financial programmes, including the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development led by the European Commission's DG Research and Innovation. She has been involved in the design, negotiation, implementation and communication phases, both in terms of commitments and programme evaluations. Since then, she has worked for numerous clients in the private and public sector, including universities and research centres. Her expertise extends to subjects related to the environment, energy, food safety, health, information technologies, nanosciences and nanotechnologies. Laura speaks Italian, French, English and Spanish.
Wolfgang-Joachim Waeber
Aerospace, international relations
Prior to joining Avisa Partners in 2016, Wolfgang-Joachim had a long career in the aviation industry in Europe, the United States, Asia and Africa. Between 2000 and 2010, Wolfgang-Joachim was in charge of European and US government affairs and international relations for Deutsche Lufthansa, based first in Washington and then in Brussels. He then became a member of the Lufthansa Board of Directors. Since 2010, he has been an independent public affairs consultant and has in particular advised the Chairman of UTair Group, a Russian airline, the 4th largest helicopter transport company in the world. Wolfgang-Joachim is fluent in German, English and French.
Rui Faria da Cunha
International trade, competition, real estate
Rui Faria da Cunha is an international lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in Portugal, Macau, China, Luxembourg, Belgium and Brazil. Prior to becoming an associate expert for Avisa Partners, Rui was in charge of public affairs for APEX-Brazil, the association for trade promotion and investment in Brazil. As a lawyer, he has worked on a wide range of subjects, both for public and private interests, in the field of European affairs, gambling, competition, state aid and real estate. In addition to his native Portuguese, Rui is fluent in English, French and Spanish and has a working knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.
Marine Elgrechi
Digital, cultural industries, media
The founding president of Mazagan, Marine is the former director of communications and public affairs in Europe for Spotify, where she held a number of senior positions between 2012 and 2017. She was previously a consultant at Havas. She now advises a number of major companies and professional associations in Paris and Brussels on public affairs and communications assignments. She is a recognised specialist in issues related to digital and cultural industries. Marine is a graduate of the University of Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas in public law and of ESCP. She speaks French, English, Arabic (Moroccan) and Spanish.
Thierry Caspar Fille-Lambie
Aerospace, defense
Air Force General (2S) Thierry Caspar Fille-Lambie is a graduate of the École de l'Air. He was certified as a fighter pilot in 1984 before embarking on a career as a transport pilot. He joined the French Air Force Inspectorate and the Permanent Council for Air Safety in 1999, before becoming Air Deputy to the Commander of the Operations Planning and Control Centre (CPCO). After commanding the Orléans-Bricy Air Base, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Air Force Command in 2007. In 2009, he headed the French forces stationed in Djibouti and was promoted to Commander of Air Defence and Air Operations. He took over as head of the General Inspectorate of the Armed Forces (Air) in 2014 until his retirement in September 2015. He is the founder of the consulting firm Morlanne Conseil.