Born in Lyon, Jean-Claude Trichet is an Inspecteur général des Finances and Ingénieur civil des Mines and an Honorary Governor of the Banque de France. He is a graduate of the Ecole nationale supérieure des Mines de Nancy, of the Institut d’études politiques de Paris, of the Université de Paris (in economics) and of the Ecole nationale d’administration. He worked in the competitive sector from 1966 to 1968. He was appointed to the Inspection générale des Finances in 1971. He was assigned to various posts at the Ministry of Finance in the General Inspectorate of Finance and later in the Treasury Department, where in 1976 he became Secretary General of the Interministerial Committee for Improving Industrial Structures (CIASI).
Jean-Claude Trichet was made an adviser to the cabinet of the Minister of Economic Affairs (René Monory) in 1978, and then an adviser to the President of the Republic (Valery Giscard d’Estaing) in the same year. In this capacity, he worked on issues relating to energy, industry, research and microeconomics from 1978 to 1981. He subsequently became Deputy Director of Bilateral Affairs at the Treasury Department from 1981 to 1984 and Head of International Affairs, also at the Treasury, and was Chairman of the Paris Club (sovereign debt rescheduling) from 1985 to 1993. In 1986, he directed the Private Office of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Privatisation (Edouard Balladur), and in 1987 he became Director of the Treasury. In the same year, he was appointed Censor of the General Council of the Banque de France and Alternate Governor of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He was Chairman of the European Monetary Committee from 1992 until his appointment as Governor of the Banque de France in 1993. He was the Chairman of the Monetary Policy Council of the Banque de France as of 1994, a member of the Council of the European Monetary Institute from 1994 to 1998 and thereafter a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank. At the end of his first term as Governor of the Banque de France, he was reappointed for a second term.
Jean-Claude Trichet was elected Chairman of the Group of Ten (G10) Governors on 29 June 2003. He served as President of the European Central Bank for a eight yearsfrom November 2003 to 2011. He is now an Honorary Governor of the Banque de France.
He was named "Person of the Year" by the Financial Times (2007), "Policy maker of the year" twice by The International Economy magazine (1991 and 2007), and has received a number of awards including the "Prix franco-allemand de la Culture/Deutsch-Französischer Kulturpreis" (2006) and the "Ludwig Erhard Memorial Coin in Gold" (2007). He has been awarded honorary doctorates by a number of universities. Jean-Claude Trichet is a Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur and has been awarded several foreign honours.