Natacha Valla, New Dean of the School

Natacha Valla, New Dean of the School

September, 2020
  • Natacha Valla © Sciences PoNatacha Valla © Sciences Po


Starting in the fall of 2020, the economist Natacha Valla will succeed Marie-Laure Salles-Djelic as Dean of the Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation. A new adventure for this brilliant professional and academic who has spent her career thus far at the frontiers of the scientific, economic and political worlds, both in France and internationally.

Economist, Administrator and Teacher

A specialist of monetary policy issues, Natacha Valla has worked for several international organisations. After obtaining a master's degree in economics from the universities of Lyon 2 and Georgetown and then a doctorate from the European University Institute in Florence, she worked at the European Central Bank from 2001 to 2008, and then directed International Economic Research at Goldman Sachs from 2008 to 2014. She then worked as Deputy Director of CEPII (2014-2016), then as Head of the Political and Strategy Division of the European Investment Bank (2016-2018), before becoming Deputy Director-General of monetary policy for the European Central Bank - a position she will leave to join Sciences Po in Paris.

Her knowledge of the world of business has been enriched by work on the boards of directors of several major firms, including LVMH, Accor, Tikehau Capital and ASF/Cofiroute. Higher education is also familiar ground to her since she has taught at HEC, Sciences Po and the New York University in Abu Dhabi. She was also a fellow at the Paris School of Economics.

Natacha Valla succeeds Marie-Laure Salles-Djelic, who has been appointed director of the Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development in Geneva, and whose work was praised by Frédéric Mion, President of Sciences Po: “She has laid firm foundations for the school’s continuing development, thanks to one powerful and lasting conviction: that business must be a key player in positive and necessary transformations of the contemporary world”.

Educating Entrepreneurs for Change

The Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation “trains the economic players of tomorrow, who are able to use their creativity and entrepreneurial vision to transform companies and rethink the role of business in society”. The SMI is made up of 1,100 students, 41% of which are international, representing 48 nationalities.

To train these entrepreneurs for change, the School has three objectives:

  • Dealing with complexity, by transmitting the keys to understanding globalisation, the digital revolution, and the challenges and transformations associated with them. 
  • Fostering creativity, by anticipating and supporting the development of the creative economy and new business models. 
  • Pursuing the common good, by highlighting the responsibility of economic players with regard to societal challenges. 

Active Pedagogy, Inclusive Prosperity

8 two-year master’s programmes, 1 one-year master’s, and 12 dual degrees with prestigious French and international universities, such as Bocconi in Milan or the University of Pennsylvania: the School of Management and Innovation offers a wide range of courses that are accessible to students right after their undergraduate degree as well as young professionals and high-level managers. In order to train the 70% of graduates who join the private sector each year, the school’s educational framework is based on the combination of theoretical knowledge and practical application. The teaching staff (made up of more than 680 people) consists of leading researchers and academics (20%) and high-level professionals from the corporate world (80%). The School also hosts over 80 events and workshops each year, with visits from highly sought after public figures such as fashion designer Paul Smith, artist JR, and many more.

Through subjects in the humanities and social sciences, joint management training, specialised courses by professional field, digital humanities, and a close working relationship with the medialab and the centre for entrepreneurship (FR), the School of Management and Innovation prepares students to work in traditional sectors (consulting, audit, finance, marketing, communication, human resources...) but also digital and tech start-ups, entrepreneurship, responsible investment, or even environmental sectors, abiding by one ambition: fostering inclusive prosperity.

“It is an honour to join the Sciences Po adventure today. The university has solid foundations and precious values. I will place my experience and my enthusiasm at the service of its development so that the students of tomorrow carry a sustainable, innovative, efficient and friendly world,” stated Natacha Valla at her nomination.

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