Fleur Pellerin

Fleur Pellerin (French pronunciation: ​[flœʁ pɛl.ʁɛ̃]; née Kim Jong-sook, born 29 August 1973) is a French businesswoman, former civil servant and Socialist Party politician who served as a French government minister from 2012 to 2016.

Fleur Pellerin
Fleur Pellerin Cannes 2017.jpg
Fleur Pellerin at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival
French Minister of Culture and Communications
In office
26 August 2014 – 11 February 2016
PresidentFrançois Hollande
Prime MinisterManuel Valls
Preceded byAurélie Filippetti
Succeeded byAudrey Azoulay
Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Tourism and French Nationals Abroad
In office
9 April 2014 – 26 August 2014
PresidentFrançois Hollande
Prime MinisterManuel Valls
Preceded byNicole Bricq (Foreign Trade)
Sylvia Pinel (Tourism)
Hélène Conway-Mouret (French overseas)
Succeeded byThomas Thévenoud
Minister Delegate for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Innovation and the Digital Economy
In office
16 May 2012 – 2 April 2014
PresidentFrançois Hollande
Prime MinisterManuel Valls
Preceded byÉric Besson
Succeeded byAxelle Lemaire
Personal details
Kim Jong-sook

(1973-08-29) 29 August 1973 (age 49)
Seoul, South Korea
Political partySocialist Party
Alma materESSEC; Sciences Po, Paris; ENA, Strasbourg

Early lifeEdit

Pellerin was born in 1973 in Seoul, South Korea, where she was abandoned on the streets aged only three or four days old before being rescued by an orphanage; six months later she was adopted by a French family.[1][2] According to her adoption records she was called Kim Jong-Suk (김종숙, 金鍾淑), although it is unclear how she came by that name. Raised by middle-class parents — her father, who has a doctorate in nuclear physics, is a small-business owner — she grew up in two Paris suburbs, Montreuil and Versailles.[3]

Early careerEdit

Pellerin graduated from ESSEC business school (Master's degree in Management) while she was just 21. She then graduated from Sciences Po (MPA) before attending the École nationale d'administration (ENA). She joined the French Court of Auditors where she rose to become a high-ranking civil servant. From 2010 to 2012, Pellerin served as president of the 21st Century Club, a French group that promotes diversity in employment.[4]

Political careerEdit

Pellerin took charge of society and digital economy issues for Socialist Party candidate François Hollande in his successful 2012 French presidential election campaign.[5]

After Hollande's election, Pellerin was appointed as with responsibility for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Innovation and the Digital Economy. In July 2012, she publicly announced her opposition to the sale of massive surveillance technologies causing quite a stir in French political circles since France is one of the biggest sellers of such technology.[6] In November 2013, she implemented the creation of the French Tech label.[7]

Minister of Culture and Communications, 2014–2016Edit

In August 2014, Pellerin was appointed Minister of Culture as part of the first government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls.[8] Shortly after Pellerin was appointed Minister of Culture, the French magazine L’Express reported that she vacationed at the Corsican villa owned by film producer Pascal Breton, raising ethics questions.[9]

In March 2015, Pellerin nominated Serge Lasvignes to head the Centre Pompidou, in a surprise choice to replace Alain Seban.[10] Under her leadership, the French Culture Ministry made a bid in September 2015 to purchase one of a highly coveted pair of Rembrandt portraits from Éric de Rothschild for the Louvre in Paris, offering €80 million, or about $90 million.[11]

As part of a major government reshuffle in early 2016, Pellerin was sacked and replaced by Audrey Azoulay, who at the time served as Hollande’s cultural advisor.[12]

Business careerEdit

In August 2016, Pellerin resigned from the French Civil Service to begin a new career in the private sector.[13] She then became the head of Korelya Capital, an investment fund aimed at emerging technologies[14] which benefited from a 100-million euros funding by the South Korean Naver Corporation.[15] She also holds several other positions, including the following:

In August 2018, Pellerin was listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 2 in the list of 100 Most Influential French Entrepreneurs.[19]

Other activitiesEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Pellerin is married to Laurent Olléon, also an ENA graduate, who works for the Council of State providing legal advice to the French government.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "From adoptee to French minister". The Dong-A Ilbo. 19 May 2012. Pellerin overcame a sense of inferiority and defeat coming from being an abandoned child with the enlightened view that "something important happens by accident."
  2. ^ "Korean Adoptee Becomes French Deputy Minister". The Chosunilbo. 1 June 2012. born in Seoul in 1973, Pellerin was found on the streets of the capital when she was three or four days old and was sent to an orphanage. She was adopted six months later.
  3. ^ Eric Pfanner and David Jolly (January 16, 2013), Pushing France Onto the Digital Stage International Herald Tribune.
  4. ^ Eric Pfanner and David Jolly (January 16, 2013), Pushing France Onto the Digital Stage International Herald Tribune.
  5. ^ Agence-France Presse/Jiji Press, "Pellerin stirs Korean hearts", Japan Times, 20 May 2012, p. 3
  6. ^ Adam Sandle, Fleur Pellerin: "I am opposed to France selling massive surveillance technologies", Groundreport, 25 July 2012
  7. ^ La France consacre 215 millions d'euros à soutenir ses start-up, Le Figaro, 28 November 2013
  8. ^ "Fleur Pellerin à la Culture, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem à l'Éducation nationale | Enssib". Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  9. ^ Doreen Carvajal (September 12, 2014), Europeans Bracing for Netflix New York Times.
  10. ^ Doreen Carvajal (March 3, 2015), New Leader Nominated for Pompidou Center in Paris New York Times.
  11. ^ Nina Siegal (September 25, 2015), France Makes Bid to Buy Rembrandt Portrait New York Times.
  12. ^ Jean-Christophe Castelain (February 12, 2016), Audrey Azoulay replaces Fleur Pellerin as France’s culture minister The Art Newspaper.
  13. ^ L'ex-ministre Fleur Pellerin démissionne de la fonction publique et part dans le privé, Marianne, 21 August 2016
  14. ^ Fleur Pellerin lève 100 millions d'euros pour son fonds d'investissement, Europe 1, 29 september 2016
  15. ^ Fleur Pellerin lève 100 millions d'euros pour faire grandir les start-up françaises, Le Figaro, 29 September 2016
  16. ^ Reworld Media strengthens its Board with the appointment of two new members Reworld Media, press release of October 16, 2019.
  17. ^ KLM Shareholders (re)appoint members to the Supervisory Board and the Board of Managing Directors KLM, press release of 26 April 2018.
  18. ^ Board of Directors Schneider Electric.
  19. ^ "Top 100 French Entrepreneurs 2018: From Claude Posternak to Fleur Pellerin, These Are the Most Influential Entrepreneurs From France". Richtopia. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  20. ^ Board of Directors Louvre Endowment Fund.
  21. ^ Board of Directors Institut Montaigne.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by  
Minister for Culture

Succeeded by