France: Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the OECD


Ms. Muriel Pénicaud

Muriel Pénicaud, Ambassadrice, Représentant Permanent auprès de l’OCDE


Muriel Pénicaud is the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the OECD since September 2020. As such, she carries the initiative IPAC (International Program for Action on Climate) to support countries in measuring and implementing their commitments while taking into account the environmental, social and economic dimensions of the transition. She is also a member of the “Global Commission on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions” of the International Energy Agency.  In march 2021, she has launched an initiative called “Future Youth” mobilizing civil society at a large scale in response to the short and long term impact of pandemic on young people, first in France, then with OECD.

From May 2017 to July 2020, Muriel Pénicaud was the French Minister of Labour, has led several structural reforms leading to a very significant decrease of unemployment and inequality:
- the reform of the labour law “For strenghtening the social dialogue” (2017)
- the law “For the freedom to choose one’s professional future” (2018), reshaping and fostering apprenticeship, creating a right for life-long learning for all workers through a personal training account, and enhancing equal pay and career between women and men through an obligation of results and the gender equality Index.

Paying specific attention to the rights of the most vulnerable and their access to social protection, she supported economic inclusion initiatives and launched massive training programs for unemployed and young people. She also developed a large short-time work scheme during the COVID-19. Ensuring respect for fundamental principles and rights at work, creating equal opportunities, empowering individuals, developing skills, fostering social dialogue and an equal share of value has been at the heart of Muriel Pénicaud’s action.

Muriel Pénicaud is actively involved in the international area.

In 2019, as French Minister of Labour, she organized and chaired the “G7 Social” of Ministers of Labour and Employment, with the objectives of strengthening social dialogue and respect for international labour standards in globalization, including fundamental principles and rights at work. Discussion led to the adoption of an unprecedented tripartite declaration between G7 countries and international organizations of workers and employers, aiming to integrate international labour standards, reduct inequalities, and give access to social protection for all worldwide. The same year, she conducted discussions leading to the adoption of an unprecedented joint statement signed by the heads of the IMF, the OECD and the ILO on the reduction of inequalities for sustainable development. Since 2019, she supported the action of France, which chairs the Alliance 8.7, a global partnership gathering all actors, including the NGOs, but also business networks, UNICEF, FAO, the ILO and social partners to eradicate child labour, forced labour and modern slavery.

Fully committed to social dialogue and tripartism, she has been particularly active in the negotiation of European directives, including the posted workers directive (“equal pay for equal job”), as well as the negotiation and adoption of international labour standards such as ILO Convention 190 on violence and harassment in the workplace.

Previously, from 2014 to 2017, Muriel Pénicaud was French Ambassador for International Investment and CEO of Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as facilitating international investments in France and promoting attractiveness to create new jobs. Since 2016, she is a member of the International Planning Committee of the Global Summit of Women.

Muriel Pénicaud has a rich experience working within global companies at international level.

From 2008 to 2014, she was the Executive Vice-President, Human Resources, at Danone Group where she was a member of the Executive Committee, and also served as the Chairman of the Board of the Danone Ecosystem Fund for societal innovation. She held several decision-making responsibilities within the human resources department of Danone Group between 1993 and 2002. She founded and produced the Eve program to develop Women’s Leadership in business, and created “Dan’Cares” a program providing social protection for all employees worldwide.

From 2002 to 2008, she was Executive Vice-President, responsible for Organization, Human Resources and Sustainable Development as well as a member of the Executive Committee at Dassault Systemes, a global leader company in 3D technology.

Furthermore, between 2011 and 2014, she chaired the environment, social and governance (ESG) committee of Orange group’s board.

From 2006 to 2009, she was the first chair of the tripartite board of the National Institute for Work, Employment and Vocational Training, the national labour inspectorate’s school.

After starting her career as a local government administrator (1976-1980), she held a number of management assignments as non-profit organizations director (1981-1985), and then at the French Ministry for Labour from 1985 to 1991. She was a member of the minister of Labour’s cabinet from 1991 to 1993.

Muriel Pénicaud has been awarded Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour, Officer of the French Order of Merit, and Commander of the Swedish Royal Order of the North Star. She has founded the Sakura fund dedicated to supporting artists engaged in civil causes.

She holds degrees in History and Educational Sciences as well as a post-degree in Clinical Psychology. She is an alumna of INSEAD Business School Executive Program.

Muriel Pénicaud is the author of “Pousser les murs” (Editions de l’Observatoire, 2021).

She was born in March 1955 and has 2 children.


OECD work with France

Webside for the Delegation of France to the OECD


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