Hubert Védrine was born in 1947 in the French town Saint-Sylvain-Bellegarde. He studied at Sciences Po in Paris and at E.N.A., completing his studies with a doctorate in 1974. In 1981 President Francois Mitterand appointed Hubert Védrine as Diplomatic Counsellor at the Élysée Palace where he served for 14 years, first as spokesman and eventually as secretary general. In 1997, after the electoral victory of the socialists, following a proposal by Prime Minister Jospin, President Chirac appointed Védrine as French Foreign Minister, a position which he held for five years until the end of the cohabitation. Védrine served as a foreign policy advisor and expert consultant for President Sarkozy and President Hollande.