|President of the Regional Council|
18 December 2015
|Minister of the Budget|
29 June 2011 - 10 May 2012
29 June 2011 - 15 May 2012
|Minister of Higher Education and Research|
18 May 2007 - 29 June 2011
|Member of the National Assembly|
for Yvelines's 2nd constituency
20 June 2012 - 20 January 2016
19 June 2002 - 19 July 2007
14 July 1967
|Political party||Soyons libres (since 2019)|
|Rally for the Republic (until 2002)|
Union for a Popular Movement (2002-2015)
The Republicans (2015-2019)
|Alma mater||HEC Paris|
École nationale d'administration
Valérie Pécresse (French pronunciation: [vale?i peks]; née Roux, 14 July 1967) is a French politician serving as President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France since 2015. A member of Soyons libres (SL), which she founded in 2017 before she left The Republicans (LR), she was the Member of the National Assembly for the 2nd constituency of Yvelines from 2002 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2016, Minister of Higher Education and Research from 2007 to 2011 and Minister of Budget and Government Spokeswoman from 2011 to 2012.
Pécresse is the daughter of prominent economist Dominique Roux who taught at Université Paris Dauphine and later served as CEO of Bolloré. She has law degrees from HEC Paris and ÉNA. She speaks French, English, Russian and Japanese.
In June 2002, Pécresse was elected deputy for Yvelines (2nd constituency). She was also elected regional counselor of Île-de-France in 2004. Pécresse was also the spokeswoman of the party in Yvelines.
In addition to her activities in local politics, Pécresse served as a Member of the National Assembly of France from 2002 until 2007. In parliament, she was a member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (2002-2005) and the Committee on Cultural Affairs (2005-2007). In 2004, she became the spokeswoman for Nicolas Sarkozy, who was then leader of the UMP.
From 2007 until 2011, Pécresse served as Minister of Higher Education and Research in the cabinet of Prime Minister François Fillon. During her time in office, she launched many reforms in an effort to give universities a greater degree of autonomy over their resources and open the way for more private sector financing. The reforms caused a wave of strikes.
In 2009, the Académie de la Carpette anglaise, an organization that opposes the spread of the English language in Francophone countries, gave Pécresse the Prix de la Carpette Anglaise ("English Doormat Prize") for having refused to speak French at international meetings in Brussels, Belgium; Pécresse had stated that English was the easiest means of communication.
At the same time, Pécresse was described by the Financial Times as one of the most successful of Sarkozy's ministers and considered as a candidate to succeed Christine Lagarde as Minister of the Economy and Finance in 2011.
From 2011 until 2012, Pécresse served as the government's spokeswoman and as Minister of Budget, Public Accounts and State Reform in Fillon's third cabinet, succeeding François Baroin. In this capacity, she opposed increases in the EU budget for 2013. In the 2011 local elections, she notably went against official party line, led by then UMP leader Jean-François Copé, not to direct the party's supporters how to vote; instead, she said she would rather vote for the Socialist Party (PS) in the case of a runoff against the National Front (FN).
After the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2012 French presidential election, Pécresse remained a key member of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and its successor, the Republicans (LR). She returned to the National Assembly, where she served on the Finance Committee from 2012 until 2016. In September 2014, she joined Fillon, Étienne Blanc, Éric Ciotti and Pierre Lellouche on an official trip to Iraq.
In December 2015, Pécresse led a list of candidates of the Union of the Right, a coalition of centrist and right-wing parties, which narrowly won the Île-de-France regional election, defeating the Union of the Left, a coalition of socialists and ecologists. She became the first woman to hold the office of president of the Regional Council of Île-de-France.
In the party's 2016 presidential primaries Pécresse endorsed former prime minister Alain Juppé. Amid the Fillon affair, in March 2017, she joined Xavier Bertrand, Christian Estrosi and others in calling for Juppé to replace François Fillon as the party's candidate.
Ahead of the Republicans' 2017 leadership elections, Pécresse founded her own political movement Libres! in July 2017. She also publicly opposed newly elected LR chairman Laurent Wauquiez, warning against his possible "porosity" to the far-right National Front's (FN) ideas. She later announced her resignation from LR on 5 June 2019, three days after Wauquiez's resignation from the presidency of the party.
In response to the Brexit vote in 2016, Pécresse helped launch an initiative of corporate leaders and politicians - including Anne Hidalgo, Gérard Mestrallet and Christian Noyer - to attract business from London. She has since been saying publicly that France was rolling out the "red-white-and-blue carpet" for UK bankers.
In 2019, Pécresse announced plans to boost the number of people in the Paris region who cycle to work by investing 100 million euros ($113 million) in new cycle lanes and infrastructure and a subsidized electric bike rental scheme before 2021.
In a 2016 op-ed published by Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, Pécresse joined sixteen other high-profile women from across the political spectrum - , including Élisabeth Guigou, Christine Lagarde, and Fleur Pellerin - in making a public vow to expose "all sexist remarks, inappropriate gestures and behaviour."
When founding Libres! in 2017, Pécresse told Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche she would seek to position her grouping between those who had joined Macron's government - including Prime Minister Édouard Philippe - and those who would follow a line she called "aggressive opposition," and which has gathered around the party's right wing.
| President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France
2015 - present
| Minister of Higher Education and Research
| Minister of the Budget