FR EN ES Search


IFGR was created at the initiative of its two founding members: Erik Orsenna, who has been its Chairman since 2015, and the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR), represented by Elisabeth Ayrault, its CEO and Chairwoman.

In 2017, IFGR became an association subject to the law of 1901 relating to the general interest. Its active members are experts who were invited to join this association of international and multidisciplinary actors committed to reflection and action in favour of rivers.


The Management Board


Elisabeth Ayrault 

CEO and Chairwoman of CNR since 2013, Elisabeth Ayrault was the instigator of IFGR with Erik Orsenna. She is also a member of the Management Boards of the Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables, the CEA and GeoPost (Groupe La Poste). Lastly, she is the Vice-Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille and the Management Board of SNCF Network. She is the author of the book “Les Leçons du Rhône : Que serions-nous sans les fleuves ?” (Lessons of the Rhone; What would we be without rivers?) published by Actes Sud (2021). Convinced that political action alone is not enough to respond to climate and environmental challenges, she advocates for enterprises to play a bigger role in energy transition and preserving the balance of ecosystems.



Jean-Louis Chaussade 

Former Chairman (2019/2020) and CEO of Suez, one of the world’s leading companies in water and waste management, Jean-Louis Chaussade joined IFGR as an administrator in November 2020. He has devoted most of his professional career to the environment and has contributed to placing it at the centre of international debates on climate change. He has worked hard to promote the circular economy and the protection of the oceans against plastic pollution. He has published two works: “le XXIème siècle, le siècle de l’eau ? (The 21st century, the century of water? (Nouveaux Débats publics) and “Les 100 mots de l’eau” (The 100 words of water) (Que Sais-je ?) in 2012. He is currently Special Councillor of the company Accuracy.


Erik Orsenna 

Educated as an economist, Erik Orsenna started his career in research and teaching in international finance and development. In 1981, he joined the cabinet of Jean-Pierre Cot, Minister of Cooperation, before becoming cultural councillor to the French President, François Mitterrand. Then, in the 1990s, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work on democratisation in Africa and relations between Southern Europe and North Africa. He became a member of the State Council in 1985 and is currently an honorary State Councillor.

In parallel with his administrative activities, he has written many novels and reference works on globalisation (L’Avenir de l’eau – The future of water, Voyage aux pays du Coton – Journey to the cotton countries, Sur la route du papier – On the paper road, Géopolitique du moustique – Geopolitics of the mosquito). He was elected to the French Academy on 28 May 1998, to fill the chair of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Sea voyages play a key role in his life. He is ambassador of the international networks of the Pasteur Institutes and he is a co-founder of Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers, which he has chaired since it was founded.


Tamsir Ndiaye 

From Senegal, Tamsir Ndiaye was educated as an engineer. He has devoted his whole professional career to the Organisation for the Development of the Senegal River (OMVS), where in particular he has fulfilled the functions of Director of the Environment and Sustainable Development and Managing Director of the Diama Management and Operating Company (SOGED). He currently heads the Manantali Energy Management Company (SOGEM) in Mali. The treasurer of the association, he was re-elected as administrator representing the active members by the General Assembly in September 2020.

 To know more: the articles of the association  


Your contacts at the General Secretariat


Aziz Ouaabi 

Secretary General


Marie-Cécile Grisard


Mettez à jour votre navigateur pour consulter ce site