Catherine Colonna

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Catherine Colonna
Colonna Catherine.JPG
Ambassador of France to Italy
In office
PresidentFrançois Hollande
Emmanuel Macron
Preceded byAlain Le Roy
Succeeded byChristian Masset
French Embassador to UNESCO
In office
26 March 2008 – 22 December 2010
Minister for European Affairs
In office
2 June 2005 – 15 May 2007
PresidentJacques Chirac
Prime MinisterDominique de Villepin
Preceded byClaudie Haigneré
Succeeded byJean-Pierre Jouyet
Personal details
Born (1956-04-16) 16 April 1956 (age 63)
Tours, France
Nationality France
Political partyclose to The Republicans
Alma materSciences Po, ÉNA

Catherine Colonna (born 16 April 1956) is a French diplomat and political figure, the Ambassador of France to Italy between 2014 and 2017.


After studying Law, Catherine Colonna successively enrolled at Sciences Po and the École nationale d'administration.

In 1983, she opted for a diplomatic career and was appointed at the French embassy in the USA, first in the political department, then in the press and information department. Upon her return to Paris, she was entrusted with European law at the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1986 to 1988. In 1988 she became a technical advisor in Minister of Public Works Maurice Faure's cabinet, under the presidency of François Mitterrand. In 1989, shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall, she joined the Analysis and Forecasting Centre at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she was put in charge of European affairs. She later became spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1990, in the department of Communication and Information, a position she kept for 5 years.

In 1993, Minister of Foreign Affairs Alain Juppé and Cabinet Director Dominique de Villepin named Catherine Colonna deputy spokesperson. Two years later, in May 1995, President Jacques Chirac appointed her spokeswoman for the Élysée Palace. For the following nine years, she served as the official voice of the French Republic's Presidency, then left office to work as Director General of the National Center of Cinematography (CNC) in September 2004. But after the European Constitution referendum she returned to diplomacy, being appointed Minister Delegate for European Affairs in the new government formed by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on 2 June 2005. She remained in position for two years, until 15 May 2007. From autumn 2007 until summer 2008 she participated in the Commission on the White Paper on Foreign and European policy of France, led by Alain Juppé.

On 26 March 2008 Catherine Colonna was appointed French ambassador to UNESCO.

Since May 2008 she is a member of the Fondation Chirac's board of directors,[1] and a member of the Franco-British Council.[2]

Since May 2010, she also chairs the board of governors of the École du Louvre[3]

Finally, in December 2010, she decided to join the international financial communications firm Brunswick1.[4]

She was appointed as French Ambassador to Rome on 14 August 2014.[5]


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Claudie Haigneré
Minister for European Affairs
Succeeded by
Jean-Pierre Jouyet
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Alain Le Roy
Ambassador of France to Italy
Succeeded by
Christian Masset