City of La Rochelle
Vice President in Charge of Carbon Neutrality
Gérard Blanchard is Vice-President of La Rochelle Urban Community (Communauté d’Agglomération de La Rochelle) on sustainable development and in charge of leading the ‘La Rochelle Territoire Zéro Carbone’ project, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality in the La Rochelle territory by 2040 thanks to a comprehensive and integrated policy. He is also a Regional Councilor, Vice-President of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region in charge of Higher Education and Research. Within the framework of its mandate and its political objectives, he works on territorial public policies issues, in particular the role of the regions in the transformation of the national landscape in terms of higher education, research and innovation. He was President of La Rochelle University for two terms (2008-2016) and Vice-President of the Conference of University Presidents (CPU) from 2013 to 2016. He led the transition to autonomy for his establishment in 2009 and chaired the Limousin-Poitou-Charentes Higher Education Research Pole from 2009 to 2011. At the CPU, he was particularly concerned with financial matters and reflected on the problematic of the economic model of universities. He is a researcher in oceanography and marine ecology. After his doctorate obtained at the University of Bordeaux, he was recruited at the University of Austin in Texas, at the Marine Science Institute, as a contract researcher in 1990-1991 before passing the competition for being a Research Fellow at the Scientific Research National Center (CNRS). He embarked on an academic career in 1998 by becoming a University Professor. He served as director of a Joint Research Unit with the CNRS in the field of the coastal environment by developing a resolutely multidisciplinary approach.