Duchêne, François17 February 1927 (London [United Kingdom]) - 12 July 2005 (Brighton [United Kingdom])
As a key adviser to Jean Monnet, the father of European unification, François Duchêne, was present at the laying of the foundation stone of the European Union, The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
Duchêne was a bi-lingual British and Swiss national who worked with Jean Monnet first as spokesman for US and British interests in the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community 1952-1953 and later as his Chef de Cabinet at the Action Committee for the United States of Europe 1958-1963. In the ECSC he was English language information officer at the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community, the precursor of the European Commission. Monnet was president, and Duchêne revered him as a man of vision who could get things done. When Monnet returned to Paris in 1955 to advance the next stage of the EU, Duchêne followed, working until 1958 both as a correspondent for the Economist and an adviser in Monnet's core team Monnet's method was to develop a network of politicians and trades unionists around Europe, whose influence he would use to get his ideas accepted. In 1969 he was appointed Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a post he held until 1975. He was selected as Director of the Sussex European Research Centre from 1974-1982, In these roles, he was central to the debate on Europe's future, east-west relations and many other aspects of international affairs, maintaining close contact with numerous statesmen, including Zbigniew Brzezinski and other leading figures in Washington.