ESC appoints Jean-François Riffaud as CEO

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Jean-François Riffaud

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has announced the appointment of Jean-François Riffaud as its new chief executive officer. Riffaud will replace Isabel Bardinet, who will retire after 18 years at the ESC.

Riffaud is currently CEO of the French humanitarian organisation ‘Action Contre la Faim’ (Action Against Hunger). He will be appointed ESC CEO Designate on 3 July 2023, with a subsequent handover period, and appointed ESC CEO on 1 September 2023. Isabel Bardinet will step down on 30 September.

Mr Riffaud has extensive experience working in humanitarian sectors, social business and philanthropy. Prior to joining ‘Action Contre La Faim’ in 2016 as director of communications and development, he worked for UNESCO and the French Red Cross. He also participated in the creation of the French National Blood Service (Etablissement Français du Sang) and the complete restructuration of the sector in the early 2000s. Riffaud sits on the Board of the Institute for Association and Foundation Leaders (Institut des Dirigeants d’Associations et Fondations) and ‘France Generosité’, an association of fundraising organisations.

ESC president, Franz Weidinger (Landstrasse Clinic, Vienna, Austria), said: “We are delighted to welcome Jean Francois as our new chief executive. Jean Francois is a dynamic, values-driven leader whose extensive experience working with humanitarian NGOs is a strong fit for the ESC, whose mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular diseases for patients and for the society.

“I take this opportunity to thank Isabel for all she has brought to the ESC over the last 18 years. Isabel has supported and guided her many boards through exponential growth of their activities, making the ESC one of the leading medical societies in cardiovascular medicine. Her passion for the ESC, as well as the astute strategic leadership she brought to the table, leaves the ESC well positioned for success.”

Riffaud said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to lead the ESC. In medicine, like all other sectors, there is no longer a status quo. I look forward to leading the ESC in adapting not only to medical innovation, but also evolving societal values, digital transformation and the widening gaps and disparities in healthcare. These changes require agility, whilst maintaining rigorous standards and the provision of robust and trustworthy knowledge, education, and data.”


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