France: cascade of changes at the Élysée

The head of the Elysée diplomatic cell, Phillippe Étienne, is appointed ambassador to Washington. He is replaced at the Palais by Emmanuel Bonne, who until then was Jean-Yves Le Drian’s chief of staff at the Quai d’Orsay.

As part of a very unusual and deep diplomatic movement in preparation, more than 68 positions could change holders. Among the most important appointments, Philippe Etienne, the head of the diplomatic cell of the Elysee has just been appointed ambassador to Washington. He is replaced at the Elysée by Emmanuel Bonne, who was until then director of Cabinet of Jean-Yves Le Drian at the Quai d’Orsay.

Another diplomatic change, François Delattre, the French ambassador to the UN will leave office. He could be appointed, this summer, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, replacing Maurice Gourdault-Montagne.

In addition, the Secretary General of the Elysée, Alexis Kohler, could leave for the private sector. Among his potential successors, Nicolas Revel, the current General Manager of the National Health Insurance Fund. He was sitting right next to Emmanuel Macron’s office at the Élysée when he was Deputy Secretary General under François Hollande.

The retirement of Admiral Bernard Rogel, Chief of Staff of President Macron, is also in preparation. He could be replaced by General Thierry Burkhard, former military adviser to François Hollande and current Inspector General of the French Army. Another possible candidate is Vice-Admiral Jean-Philippe Rolland, Head of the Naval Action Force. But the Land Force strongly claims the place.

There are also reports of several senior military officials from the Direction du Renseignement Militaire (Directorate of Military Intelligence – DRM) coming to the Élysée.