Former French Air Force chief Stéphane Abrial joins consultancy

08 October 2021 2 min. read
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Stéphane Abrial, a former French Air Force chief and NATO commander, has affiliated with Hague Corporate Affairs as an Associate Partner. 

General Abrial brings a long track record in the world of military service and in leadership to the firm. He began his military career in the early ‘1970s, and following years of training he became fighter pilot and later on an operational commander. 

He has served in various military operations, including the 1990 and 1991 operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm for the liberation of Kuwait as Commander of the French Air Force’s 5th Fighter Wing. From 1996 to 1999, Abrial served at the NATO International Military Staff in Brussels.

Stéphane Abrial, Associate Partner, Hague Corporate Affairs

In the 2000’s Abrial expanded his experience into management roles at the highest political level. General Abrial was appointed to the cabinets of French President Jacques Chirac in 2000, and two years later of his then Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin. Between 2006 and 2009 he served as the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force. 

In the summer of 2009, Abrial was appointed by the North Atlantic Council as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, becoming the first European to be appointed permanently as head of a NATO strategic command. In this position, he worked with the 28 different member nations of the Alliance on strategic thinking, capability development, and education and training issues. 

Abrial retired from service in 2012, and continued his passion as a strategic advisor at Safran, a French multinational aerospace, defence and aerospace company. First as advisor to the CEO, then as Deputy CEO, Corporate Office. 

Now part of the team at Hague Corporate Affairs, a public affairs and corporate communications firm with offices in The Hague, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, Abrial will provide strategic advice to clients on political and technological developments in the field of defence, security and innovation, both nationally and internationally.

“Working at the intersection of strategy, politics and operations is an activity that I have been practicing for years, both in public institutions and in industry. I am delighted to be able to share my experience within a truly European group such as Hague, supporting institutions and companies in France, the Netherlands and elsewhere,” said Abrial, who holds several army-related distinctions alongside being a Grand Officer in the French Legion of Honour. 

Peter ter Horst, Managing Partner at Hague Corporate Affairs, said: “We are honoured to welcome Stéphane. His expertise in high-level military strategy is of great added value, especially at a time when increasing geopolitical instability has rekindled interest in defence policy, both at the national and international levels. Stéphane is the perfect advisor to our clients and we are delighted to have him join our Paris office.”