Employee at the PTT (former French postal service) from 1966 to 1985, insurance agent (1985–1991), Jean Besson is a member of the Confédération française démocratique du travail (CFDT) since 1966. He is also a member of the social-democratSocialist Party (PS) since 1968. Assistant Mayor of Valence from 1977 to 1983. Conseiller général of the Drôme department from 1979 to 2004, Jean Besson was elected French Senator in 1989 (September, the 24th), and re-elected in 1998 and in 2008. Vice-president of the Rhône-Alpes region, delegated to the foreign relations from 2004 to 2010. Administrator of the company "Gaz de France" (GDF) from 1999 to 2004, Chairman of the company "Energie SDED" since 1991, Administrator of the company "Entreprises Rhône-Alpes International" (ERAI) since 2006, Chairman of the company " Rhône-Alpes Tourism" and Administrator of "Institut français" since 2011. Jean Besson is a politician of the center-left.
Knight of the National Order of Merit (by the President of the French Republic, 1987).