Sanofi today announced the appointment of Dr. Jean-Christophe Rufin as President of the Sanofi Espoir Corporate Foundation. Jean-Christophe Rufin succeeds Xavier Darcos, who presided over the Foundation since 2015.
"We are delighted that Dr. Jean-Christophe Rufin has accepted to serve as President of the Sanofi Espoir Foundation", said Serge Weinberg, President of Sanofi. "His experience as both a physician and diplomat gives him a broad expertise in humanitarian and public health issues around the world. He will enable us to step up our response to health distress among vulnerable populations. Through his literary work, he has amply demonstrated his humanist commitments and his capacity to understand international realities.”
The Sanofi Espoir Foundation’s mission is to help reduce health inequalities among the world’s most vulnerable populations. At the end of 2019, the Foundation was coordinating 77 projects in 50 countries in four main areas of focus:
- The fight against pediatric cancers in countries with limited resources
- Combating maternal and neonatal mortality in low- and middle-income countries
- Access to healthcare for people in vulnerable situations in France
- Support for families in the event of health crises
"It is a great honor for me to preside over the Sanofi Espoir Foundation," said Dr. Jean-Christophe Rufin. "I salute the work accomplished over the past 10 years to reduce health inequalities, and I am committed to taking this even further, by broadening the Sanofi Espoir Foundation’s areas of involvement and methods for action.”
A French doctor, diplomat, and writer, Jean-Christophe Rufin is a former intern and senior physician with Paris public hospitals (1976-1983), a neurologist and a hospital practitioner (1995). He was a pioneer of Médecins Sans Frontières, of which he was vice-president (1991-1993), and President of Action contre la Faim.
Rufin has also been an adviser to the Secretary of State for Human Rights (1986-1988), the cultural and cooperation attaché in Brazil (1989-1990) and advisor in charge of peacekeeping operations for the Minister of Defense (1993-1995). In 2007, he was appointed French Ambassador to Senegal and the Gambia, a post he held until 2010.
An Officer of the Legion of Honor, Rufin is Doctor honoris causa of Laval University (Canada) and the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), and a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium and the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
Rufin has also written a series of novels and narratives over more than 20 years that reflect his international experience. His books have been published in some 20 countries, and he was awarded France’s Goncourt prize in 2001 for Brazil Red.
He was elected to the Académie française in 2008.
About the Sanofi Espoir Corporate Foundation
Created in 2010, the Sanofi Espoir Corporate Foundation aims to reduce inequalities in health in France and internationally. Its actions aim to improve the health of the most vulnerable populations, particularly children. These serve the Foundation’s vision of a world in which everyone has a chance to be born, grow and maintain their health. This ambition covers four strategic areas: maternal and neonatal health, pediatric cancers in low- and middle-income countries, access to healthcare for the most vulnerable populations in France, and responding to humanitarian crises.