Najat Vallaud-Belkacem

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem
Minister of Education, Higher Education and Research
In office
26 August 2014  Current
President François Hollande
Prime Minister Manuel Valls
Preceded by Benoît Hamon
Minister of Women's Rights, Minister of City Affairs, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports
In office
2 April 2014  25 August 2014
President François Hollande
Prime Minister Manuel Valls
Preceded by herself (Women's Rights)
François Lamy (City Affairs)
Valérie Fourneyron (Sports)
Succeeded by Marisol Touraine (Women's Rights)
Patrick Kanner (City, Youth affairs and Sports)
Minister of Women's Rights
In office
16 May 2012  31 March 2014
President François Hollande
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
Preceded by Catherine Vautrin
Government's spokesperson
In office
16 May 2012  31 March 2014
President François Hollande
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
Preceded by Valérie Pécresse
Succeeded by Stéphane Le Foll
Conseillère générale of the Rhône department
Assumed office
16 March 2008
Personal details
Born (1977-10-04) 4 October 1977
Rif , Bni Chiker, Nador province, Morocco
Nationality Moroccan
Political party Socialist Party
Spouse(s) Boris Vallaud (m. 2005)
Children Louis-Adel Vallaud
Nour-Chloé Vallaud
Alma mater Sciences Po

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (born نجاة فالو بلقاسم(Najat Belkacem) on 4 October 1977) is a French socialist politician, who on 25 August 2014 was the first French woman to be appointed Minister of Education, Higher Education, and Research, joining the second Valls government.[1]

Previously she was Minister of Women's Affairs (16 May 2012 to 25 August 2014, Ayrault government and Valls government), Minister of City Affairs (2 April 2012 to 25 August 2014, Valls government), Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports (2 April 2012 to 25 August 2014, Valls government), and Government spokesperson (16 May 2012 to 31 March 2014, Ayrault government).

She was the spokesperson of Ségolène Royal's campaign during the 2007 French presidential election and again in 2009 for the 2011 French Socialist Party presidential primary. Since 2008, she has been a councillor of the city of Lyon, responsible for major events, youth and community life.


Second in a family of seven children, Najat Belkacem was born in the Moroccan countryside in 1977 in Bni Chiker, a village near Nador in the Rif region. Her grandmothers were respectively Spanish and Algerian.[2] In 1982 she joined her father, a construction worker, with her mother and elder sister Fatiha, and grew up in the suburbs of Amiens.[3] She graduated from the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies) in 2002. At the Institut she met Boris Vallaud, whom she married on 27 August 2005.[4]

She joined the Socialist Party in 2002 and the team of Lyon mayor Gérard Collomb in 2003, leading actions to strengthen local democracy, the fight against discrimination, promotion of citizen rights, and access to employment and housing.

Elected to the Regional Council of Rhone-Alpes in 2004, she chaired the Culture Commission, resigning in 2008. In 2005, she became adviser to the Socialist Party. In 2005 and 2006 she was a columnist for the cultural programme C'est tout vu on Télé Lyon Municipale alongside Stéphane Cayrol.

In February 2007 she joined Ségolène Royal's campaign team as a spokeswoman, alongside Vincent Peillon and Arnaud Montebourg.

In March 2008 she was elected conseillère générale of the Rhône department in the cantonal elections with 58.52% of the votes in the second round, under the banner of the Socialist Party in the canton of Lyon-XIII.

On 16 May 2012, she was appointed to French President François Hollande's cabinet as Minister of Women's Rights and spokeswoman for the government.

She supports having the French government force Twitter to filter out hate speech that is illegal under French law, such as speech that is homophobic.[5] Regarding same-sex marriage in France, she has stated that its legalisation is a matter of "historic progress".[6]

She describes herself as a "non-practicing Muslim".[7]


Media related to Najat Vallaud-Belkacem at Wikimedia Commons

  1. "France's new education minister prompts rightwing protests". The Guardian. 27 August 2014.
  2. Michel Abu Najm (11 September 2014). "Najat Vallaud-Belkacem: France's Rising Star". Asharq Al Awsat. Paris. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  3. Jacques Bertoin, "Najat Belkacem, la vie en rose",, 18.
  4. "".
  5. Farago, Jason (2 January 2013). "In praise of Vallaud-Belkacem, or why not to tolerate hate speech on Twitter". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
  6. "France and gay marriage: Pink pride in Paris - The Economist". The Economist.
  7. "Muslim Minister in French Government Calls for Twitter to Censor Tweets that Don't Respect Human Rights". Retrieved 24 January 2013.
Political offices
Preceded by
Benoît Hamon
Minister of National Education
Succeeded by
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