I entered the Ecole Normale Supérieure (a leading French higher education school) in 1964 as a physics student. I passed the highest competitive examination level (agregation) for teachers in France in this field in 1968. I graduated as Doctor in Physics (PhD) in March 1973 and published my thesis on Abnormal Hall effect in semiconductors.
Then, while associate professor at the University of Paris (Paris VII), I worked as a solid state physics researcher in various areas, including hot electrons and semimagnetic semiconductors.

I joined Electricité de France (EDF) in November 1979 as Secretary General to the utility's Research and Development Executive Vice President. In 1982, I moved to the Fuel Procurement Department, where I was responsible first for fuel oil and then the uranium and enrichment purchases for EDF's plants. I was nominated Manager of this department in 1987. With a purchasing budget of 17 billion French francs (3,5 billion Dollars), the Fuel Department is a dominant force on the international uranium and nuclear services markets.

I created the Development and Commercial Strategy Division on February 15, 1989, becoming Electicité de France's first woman Executive Vice President. I defined EDF's commercial policy and its portfolio of new activities; negotiated the sale of electricity to EDF's leading industrial customers; and also headed the team in charge of local development of EDF's industrial wasteland.

I joined the Cogema Group (today Areva group) in 1992 becoming Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, of SGN Eurisys Group on March 23, 1992. SGN Eurisys Group, the world leader in nuclear fuel cycle engineering has under my leadership diversified significantly in other fields as Chemicals, Oil and Environment while increasing its industrial services and international activities. The Eurisys group was the foremost supplier of engineering and services to industry, with a total turnover of about 1 billion dollars and 9,000 employees including 3,000 engineers and professionals. It was operating in 50 countries, mainly in Europe, Japan and United States.

In 1998, I joined Capgemini as General Manager of Utilities Global Market Unit (electricity, water, gas). I was in charge of developing Capgemini's group presence in the Utilities Market that was undergoing important changes linked to the deregulation, new technologies and new customer services. May 2000, after the merger of Capgemini with Enst&Young, I was nominated Corporate Vice President and Global Leader of the Sector Energy, Utilities and Chemicals (Oil, Gas, Utilities and Chemicals). This sector represented 11% of the Capgemini total revenue in 2010, compared to 4% in 1998, and spans over North America, Europe and Asia Pacific and includes 11,000 consultants. The Energy, Utilities and Chemicals Global sector's ambition is to serve both global and regional clients to their satisfaction, to increase the group's market presence and to ensure a sustainable development in this important sector. In 2004, I created the global marketing unit at Capgemini, that I developed and lead until 2008. Since July 2012, I am adviser to Capgemini chairman for energy matters.

From Septembre 2010 to April 2015, I have been non-executive chairwomen of TDF, a large European broadcasting company.

I am the founder and general manager of COWIN, a consulting company.

I am also the former president of the European Nuclear Society. The European Nuclear Society is an association of 26 learned societies gathering more than 20,000 professionals working on nuclear energy. The goal of this association is to promote and contribute to the advancement of science in all forms of pacific utilisation of nuclear energy. While I was president of the European Nuclear Society, I created the WIN association (Women in Nuclear). This association had two main objectives. First to create a platform to enable women within the nuclear industry to communicate to the external world, highlighting the industry's contribution to the energy mix. Secondly, to motivate women to pursue a professional careers in the nuclear industry who whist still in the minority possess the skills and competencies to succeed in this invigorating environment. I am the former president of NucNet. NucNet was the first international communication agency on nuclear topics. Since it was launched in 1991, NucNet's main goal was to communicate on nuclear topics clearly and concisely, becoming though the first information source for nuclear top executives and public instances.

On Septembre 12th, 2002, I was elected member of the French Academy of Technologies (Read more). In 2004 I was nominated by the French Prime Minister as a CSTI member (a think tank on communication and information technologies). In 2007 I was asked by the French energy regulator (CRE) to launch and chair a high-level working group on liquified natural gas (LNG) in Europe and France. In 2013, I was nominated by the French prime minister member of the Conseil stratégique de la recherche (C.S.R.), a high level committee charged of advising te French government on the research and innovation strategy. From 2008 to 2012 she was member of the European Union Advisory Group on Energy. I am also a member of Le Siècle and Professional Women Network.

I am also a non-Executive Director of Nexans (a leading infrastructure company, since 2004), of Bouygues (an industrial diversified group with construction and telecom & medias, since 2010), of Colas (world leader in road construction, Bouygues subsidiary, since 2011), of Eurotunnel (Channel tunnel infrastructure operator, since 2011), of EDF (the largest European electrical utility, since 2014), and of Ingenico (the global leader in seamless payment, since 2015). From 2006 to April 2011, I was a non-Executive Director of La Poste (French postal service company from 2006 to 2011), and of Ocean Rig (2008), of Lafarge (world wide cement leader), of TGS-Nopec (an oil service company providing seismic data, from 2006 to 2015), and of Crompton Greaves (an electrical equipement company traded on Mumbai stock exchange, from 2013 to 2016).

I am married and I have three children.


Following a decision of the French Ministry of Industry, Mr. Pierre DELAPORTE, at that time Chairman and CEO of EDF (the French large electrical Utility) awarded me the National Order of Merit Knight distinction . The ceremony took place on March 21st 1991 in the EDF headquarters offices in Paris.

On June 7, 1993, I received from Mr. Hubert CURIEN, former Minister of Research and President of the Academy of Sciences the insignia of Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour.

On Novembre 12th, 1996, I was given the American Nuclear Society's Women's achievement Award.

After a decision made by the French Ministry of External Commerce, I have then been promoted to the Officer in the National Order of Merit in 1999, and it was Mr. Pierre WEILL, President of TNS-SOFRES who presetned me to the new insignia.

Mr. Pierre WEILL presenting Mrs. Colette LEWINER to the Officer in the National Order of Merit. Mr. Hubert CURIEN presenting Mrs. Colette LEWINER to the Officer in the National Order of the Legion of Honour.

Minister François LOOS presenting Mrs. Colette LEWINER to the Commander of the National Order of Merit. President Nicolas Sarkozy presenting Mrs. Colette LEWINER to the Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honor.

It was upon a personal decision of the President of the French Republic M. Jacques Chirac, that I was promoted to the grade of Officer in the National Order of the Legion of Honor and it was Mr. Hubert CURIEN who presented me to the insignia on April 23, 2002.

It was upon a personal decision of the President of the French Republic M. Jacques Chirac, that I was promoted to the grade of Commander of the National Order of Merit and it was the Industry Minister François LOOS who presented me to the insignia on March 7th, 2007.

Finally, I was promoted to the Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honor in 2010, and it is the French President Nicolas Sarkozy in person who presented me to the insignia on March 17th, 2010. In his speech, President Sarkozy underlined my contribution to the French energy sector, and especially nuclear energy sector, as well as to the French international affairs.


In 1968, I passed the highest competitive examination level (agregation) in Physics for teachers in France. Then I began research work with Professor Philippe Nozières, while teaching at the Paris Faculty of Science, (which became latter on Université Paris VII).

My research in Solid State Physics focused on electric and magnetic effects in semi conductors at microscopic scale.

In March 1973, I published my PhD thesis on the “Abnormal Hall effect in semi conductors” and I continued my research on semi-magnetic semi conductors and on hot electrons.

This theoretical research aimed at modelling these complex phenomena were always linked to experiences led at the Ecole Polytechnique or Ecole Normale laboratories.

These experiences enabled me to validate my theoretical research works and brought new ideas for new developments. This cross fertilization was very fruitful as were my exchanges with European, Soviet and American researchers, working in the same fields.

Selected scientific publications

  • Anomalous Hall Effect in semiconductors. A. Bastin, C. Lewiner and N. Fayet, J.P.C.S. 31 - 817 (1970).

  • Quantum oscillations of the Hall effect of a fermion gas with random impurity scattering. A Bastin, C. Lewiner, O. Betbeder-Matibet and P. Nozières, J.P.C.S. 32 - 1811 (1971).

  • Calcul de l'effet Hall anormal par la théorie des champs. C. Lewiner, Invited communication to the "Rencontre sur l'effet Hall anormal", Saint Cergue (1972).

  • A field theoretical approach to the anomalous Hall effect in semiconductors. C. Lewiner, O. Betbeder-Matibet and P. Nozières, J.P.C.S. 34 - 765 (1973).

  • A simple theory of the anomalous Hall effect in semiconductors. C. Lewiner and P. Nozières, Journal de Physique 34 - 901 (1973).

  • Band-induced anisotropy effects in thermoemission. C. Lewiner and B. Caroli, Surface Science 61, 563 (1976).

  • Electron temperature in a hot electron problem. C. Lewiner, D. Calecki and P. Nozières, XIII International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors, Rome (1976).

  • Mean energy of photoexcited hot electrons in high magnetic fields. C. Lewiner and D. Calecki, International Conference on Hot Electrons in Semiconductors, Denton (Texas) (1977).

  • On series expansions in a non linear electronic system. C. Lewiner and D. Calecki, Physica 86 A - 601 (1977).

  • Quantum energy distribution function of hot electrons in crossed electric and magnetic fields. C. Lewiner, D. Calecki and P. Nozières, Journal de Physique 38 - 169 (1977).

  • Anomalous Hall effect in collisionless zerogap semiconductors. C. Lewiner and G. Bastard, Journal of Physics C11 - 4727 (1978).

  • Bound states and high field longitudinal magnetoresistance in semiconductors. C. Lewiner and G. Bastard, Journal de Physique 38 - 57 (1978).

  • Energy distribution of photoexcited hot electrons in a quantizing magnetic field. C. Lewiner, D. Calecki and N. Pottier, Physical review B18 - 6348 (1978).

  • Mean energy of photoexcited hot electrons in high magnetic fields. C. Lewiner and D. Calecki, Solid State Electronics 21 - 185 (1978).

  • Indirect exchange interaction in Hg1-xMnxTe and Cd1-xMnxTe alloys. C. Lewiner, J.A. Gaj and G. Bastard, Colloque international sur les semiconducteurs magnétiques, Montpellier (1979).

  • Indirect exchange interaction in parabolic symmetry induced zerogap semiconductors. C. Lewiner and G. Bastard, Journal de Physique Lettres 40 - L177 (1979).

  • Indirect exchange interaction in zerogap semiconductors. C. Lewiner and G. Bastard, Phys. Rev. B20 - 4256 (1979).

  • Indirect exchange interaction in extremely non-parabolic zero-gap semiconductors. C. Lewiner and G. Bastard, Journal of Physics C13 - 2347 (1980).

  • Indirect exchange interaction in Hg1-xMnxTe and Cd1-xMnxTe alloys. C. Lewiner and G. Bastard, Journal of Physics C5 - 289 (1980).

  • Indirect exchange interactions in zerogap semiconductors: anistropic effects. C. Lewiner and G. Bastard, Phys. Rev. B22 - 2132 (1980).

  • Magnetization of Hg1-xMnxTe alloys: a self consistent two-spin cluster model. C. Lewiner and G. Bastard, Journal of Physics C13 - 1469 (1980).

Industry & Services

The second part of my career was essentially focused on energy: fossil fuel energies (oil and gas) but also on nuclear and renewable energies.

While heading the Fuel Procurement division at EDF, I undertook studies on nuclear fuel, its best utilization inside the reactors and its life cycle optimization. The industrial process of reprocessing spent fuel and plutonium (MOX) recycling adopted in France maximizes the energy extraction, minimizes the volume of the radioactive waste and thanks to MOX fuel recycling, is safe regarding non proliferation issues.

After managing the EDF fuel procurement division, I was asked by EDF Chairman to create a Commercial Branch. This was totally new as the Company viewed itself at the time as “public service monopoly” and was not client focused. I became also the first women Executive Vice President. At that time, I investigated the various electricity usages for industrial, commercial and residential customers and boosted new electricity enabled and better energy efficiency processes. My focus was, of course, client satisfaction notably through the development of new services.

While heading SGN-Eurisys (Areva engineering and services Branch), I supervised large design & construction projects for nuclear fuel cycle related facilities; mainly reprocessing plants (La Hague plant in France and Rokkasho-Mura plant in Japan) and MOX fuel manufacturing plant (Melox in France). The excellent SGN technical competencies combined with my personal commitment, allowed us to win large “cleaning up” projects for nuclear contaminated sites. These contracts included radioactive waste vitrification and long tem storage. In partnership with American engineering firms (notably Fluor Daniel and Lockheed Martin), we were awarded in 1996 by the American Department of Energy the cleaning up contract for the Hanford site (Washington State).

While creating and heading the Global Energy, Utilities and Chemicals sector for Capgemini, I have supervised many studies on the new regulation of the electricity and gas markets and its consequences. I have created Centres of Excellence with the best experts in order to advise Utilities, on organisation, processes, cultural and information systems questions. Our work enabled them to comply with these new deregulation rules and become leaders in their new environment. In 2002, I have created the Capgemini's European Energy Markets Observatory, and supervised the subsequent 17 editions of this well-respected report.

Due to my scientific background, I have been involved in many works and publications on innovation and the evolution of the French Academic System.

I have also been active in promoting women’s role in technology driven firms. In 1993, I created WIN (Women in Nuclear) which is today a flourishing worldwide organisation. I am also giving lectures to encourage younger women to take bigger responsibilities in their working environment.

Finally, during the course of my carrier, I have become not only an expert on Energy questions but also acquired a lot of experience on management, people mindset evolution and cultural and diversity questions.

Some pointers

Selected press portraits of Colette Lewiner

  • 11.12 / 1987 Colette Lewiner, premier acheteur mondial d'uranium, L'Usine Nouvelle

  • 02.17 / 1989 Colette Lewiner : Première femme à la tête d'une direction d'EDF, Les Echos

  • 04.25 / 1989 Directeur commercial... à EDF, Industries et Techniques

  • 09-10 / 1989 Les stratèges commerciaux, Génération

  • 02.19 / 1990 Les points carrières - Têtes d'affiches : femmes d'affaires, Le Point

  • 05.10 / 1990 EDF saisie par le marketing, Les Echos

  • 06.05 / 1990 La stratégie commerciale de l'EDF, Enerpresse

  • 01.14 / 1992 Colette Lewiner : d'EDF à Cogema, Le Figaro - La Vie Economique

  • 02.20 / 1992 De la paillasse au fauteuil, L'Express

  • 03.25 / 1992 SGN - Colette Lewiner PDG, La Tribune - Rubrique : Carnet

  • 03.25 / 1992 Madame Lewiner devient PDG de SGN, AFP

  • 10 / 1993 Nucléaire : SGN accélère sa mutation, Les Echos

  • 01.13 / 1994 Les 4 700 salariés de Colette, L'Express

  • 02.6 / 1996 Colette Lewiner, une spécialiste du changement à la SGN, Les Echos

  • 03-04 / 1996 Colette Lewiner, 50, chairman and chief executive officer, SGN-Eurisys Group, Paris $800 million, Worldbusiness

  • 04.27 / 1996 Colette Lewiner, ou la passion du nucléaire, Le Figaro Magazine

  • 11-12 / 1996 Colette Lewiner is NucNet new president, Nuclear Europe Worldscan

  • 10.9 / 1997 Energie. La Cogema fait l'économie de ses talents, L'Expansion

  • 04.8 / 1998 Les décideurs, Le Figaro

  • 0.28 / 2004 CSTI : La France se dote d'un Conseil stratégique des TIC, Neteco