Expertise and experience
Born in 1954, Stéphane Abrial is an engineer from École de l'Air de Salon-de-Provence (Class of 1973). He holds degrees from École Supérieure de Guerre Aérienne, and the United States Air Force's Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama (1992), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale.
Stéphane Abrial started his career as a fighter pilot in 1977.
In 1981, he was assigned to a squadron of the German Luftwaffe in Neuburg on the Danube, first as a fighter pilot, then as flight commander.
Returning to France in 1984, he was appointed Deputy Commander then Commander of a fighter squadron in Dijon. In 1988, he led the Mirage 2000 conversion team for the Greek Air Force's first squadron, based in Tanagra. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Commander, then Commander of the Fifth Fighter Wing in Orange, which he led in the war to free Kuwait in 1991.
In 1992, Stéphane Abrial was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force in Paris, then, in 1995, to the Office of the Chief of Defence.
In 1996, he was assigned to NATO's International Military Staff in Brussels, in charge of the transformation of the integrated military structure. He was appointed Deputy to the French President's Chief of Staff in Paris in 2000, then became Head of the Prime Minister's Military Office in 2002.
In 2005, he was assigned as Commander of Air Defence and Air Operations, then in 2006, he was selected to become Chief of Staff of the Air Force with the rank of general.
In September 2009, the 28 NATO nations appointed Stéphane Abrial as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, located in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. He was the first non-American Officer to be selected as one of the two NATO Strategic Commanders. He held this position until September 28, 2012 and left the military in October of the same year.
He joined Safran on January 2, 2013 as Advisor to Jean-Paul Herteman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Safran, before being appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Office on July 1, 2013.
He was appointed as a Director of the Atlantic Council in April 2013, member of the Advisory Board of Institut Aspen France in December 2013 and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Paris Air and Space Museum (Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace) in February 2014.
- Deputy Chief Executive Officer: Safran
- Chairman: Établissements Vallaroche, since July 2013
- Director: Safran Human Resources Support, Inc., since June 2013; Safran Mexico S.A. DE C.V., since June 2013
- Chairman of the Board of Directors: Paris Air and Space Museum (Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace), since February 2014
- Member of the Advisory Board: Institut Aspen France, since December 2013
- Director: Atlantic Council (US), since April 2013