Senior French Representative
Colonel Patrick de Vathaire became the Senior French Representative at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in August 2011. Following his graduation from the “Officer Candidate School,” promotion of 1983, Colonel de Vathaire joined the « Troupes de Marine ». He subsequently gained an impressive depth of operational knowledge of Africa during his numerous visits to the Continent. In addition to participating in operations in Chad, the Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Gabon, and Togo, he has also spent time at the heart of various African armed forces as both an instructor and military advisor. He commanded the 43rd Infantry Battalion from 2005 until 2006, based in the Ivory Coast.
In between his African commitments, Colonel de Vathaire also served in Afghanistan in 2002 when he was the Operations Officer for the French Army Special Forces Regiment. Following 18 months at the Army War College and the Joint Advanced Staff College, he was first posted to the Joint Staff as Chief J3 Land from 2003 to 2005, then again as Chief J5 Africa in the Joint Operational Planning Centre (Centre de Planification et Conduite des Opérations) from 2008 to 2011. It is in this last role where his African expertise has come to the fore: He has been responsible for the strategic oversight and anticipation of potential crisis within Sub-Saharan Africa. He has had oversight of the French participation in the European EUFOR mission, the deployment of the UN mission to Chad, the crisis in the Ivory Coast, piracy off the Somalia coast, and he has been actively involved in the study to reshape French participation in Africa.
He holds the rank of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, is an officer of the National Order of Merit, holds “la croix de la valeur militaire” with 2 stars and is an Officer of the Rwandan National Order of Peace.