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Our origins

Dating back to the 1930s the French Government recognized that national security issues do not merely boils down to the actions of armed forces. As such, the French Government entrusted the Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defense with the mission to raise public awareness “in order to give in-depth information about national defense in its broadest meaning”. This Institute (in French “Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale” or “IHEDN”) is a French public institution that aims to impart expertise and raise awareness of military and civilian national security issues. It falls under the umbrella of the French Prime Minister, and is aligned with the École de Guerre (i.e., “School of War”) at the École Militaire (i.e., “Military College”). To fulfill its mission, the Institute organizes several highly selective programmes, conferences and work groups pertaining to the vast and diverse field of national security (be it military, political, economic, environmental, energy and natural resources, cyber security and even women empowerment issues). For further information about IHEDN, please click here.

L’Ihedn en vidéo from ihedn on Vimeo.

Realizing the importance of involving students and young professionals, the Association Nationale des Auditeurs Jeunes (or “ANAJ” literally “Young Auditors’ National Association”), was created in the mid-1990s. Based on our success and dynamism, our association was later acknowledged as a “Partner of the French Citizen Reserve” by the French Ministry of Defense.

What we stand for: independence, quality, openness and commitment to fueling public debate

Notwithstanding our affiliation with the think-tank of the French military, the ANAJ remains an independent, apolitical and self-managed young professionals’ association whose vocation is to provide people with a deeper understanding of factors shaping civilian and military decisions on national and security issues and identify new approaches to key challenges through events involving young professionals.
As such, we do not promote any institutional and political positions, nor do we engage in lobbying or ideological advocacy. We welcome speakers with diverse backgrounds and views.

Our activities: events, visits and publications

Since ANAJ-IHEDN’s first event in 1996 in France, our 1,500-member association has organized thousands of conferences, diner-debates and visits, gathering thousands of young people. The year 2013 alone witnessed hundreds of events in France and 10,000 attendees.

As we value in-depth thinking, ANAJ-IHEDN is divided into several working committees where young people meet, share and develop their expertise accordingly to their interests. Both think tanks and clusters of events, these intellectual crucibles are meaningful stepping-stones for young professionals’ careers and intellectual evolution. Ultimately, our website allows our members to publish their articles online.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Conferences-cocktails, the specificity of our U.S. branch

In 2013, we decided to share our commitment to this public debate abroad by starting our first branch outside of France, in Washington, D.C. Our U.S. branch, called “Next Generation Foreign Policy Network” (or “NextGen FPN”), gathers every month in the same spirit, with the same goals, holding conferences at the French Embassy’s amphitheater. After each conference, a refined cocktail reception is held that fosters interaction between the speakers and the audience members.

Some of our most recent events include:

— A conference on a 21st century concept of peace as defined by a lifetime warrior with former Navy SEAL Robert Dubois (Washington, D.C., 02/2013)
— A visit of the French Anti-Gang Brigades (Brigade de Recherche et d’Intervention) at the Préfecture of Paris
 with its Police Chief Michel FAURY (Paris, 04/2013)
— An encounter with a modern explorer, journalist and film director Diego Buñuel (Paris, 05/2013)
— A private visit of the Musée du Louvre with a discussion on the protection of cultural heritage (Paris, 10/2013)
— A conference on “Who shapes space policy: millionaires or statesmen?” with the U.S. President of Arianespace Clay Mowry, the Director of the George Washington Space Policy Institute Scott Pace and A.C. Charania, Business Development Manager at Virgin Galactic (Washington, D.C., 10/2013)
— A conference on “How to live in a submarine?” with the Admiral François Dupont (Paris, 10/2013)
— A screening of the film “Who Cares?” made by Mara Mourao and a discussion about whether social entrepreneurship is the future of capitalism (Washington, D.C., 11/2013)

Who we reach out to

In average, our audiences have been composed of about 200 driven, dynamic, young and senior professionals coming from the private, academic and diplomatic fields, as well as from NGOs and non-profit organizations.

How to become part of our association

Like any organization, we exist thanks to the presence and dynamism of our members! So come and join us!

Every year the Institute organizes 4 types of highly selective programmes to recruit and train French students as well as young professionals.

  • Youth Seminars – For a week, a hundred students and professionals between 20 and 30-years-old live in a boarding house and engage in awareness-raising activities about stakes and challenges of national security matters.
  • Citizenship & National Cohesion Seminars – Social activists and young elected representatives from lower income areas engage in collective thinking sessions and propose measures to strengthen the sense of belonging to the nation.
  • Security & Defense Master degree Seminars – Graduate students are provided with first-hand information to reflect on national security matters.
  • Grandes Ecoles Seminars – About a hundred students from military officer schools, from the main branches of the civil service, as well as from prestigious graduate engineering and business schools (known as “grandes écoles”), hold a debate on key current issues at stake in global defense.

Upon completion of one training session, and provided they are under the age of 36, young auditors are welcomed within the Association Nationale des Auditeurs Jeunes of the IHEDN (the ANAJ-IHEDN).

For more information about the highly selective French recruiting process, please contact president@anaj-ihedn.org

For information about the more open selection process in the U.S., please contact united-states@anaj-ihedn.org

Don’t hesitate to contact us for bringing ideas and suggesting partnerships!

For information about the French headquartered association, including updates on our events in France, please visit our website www.anaj-ihedn.org or contact president@anaj-ihedn.org

For information about our U.S. branch, including updates on our events in the US, please visit our webpage http://www.anaj-ihedn.org/author/unitedstates/ and contact united-states@anaj-ihedn.org.

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