Mandon, it adds, isn't a stranger to the research world despite his political science background as he led Genopole, the biotechnology and genomics research cluster, between 1998 and 2014.
"During these 16 years, Thierry Mandon has demonstrated a deep commitment to research and innovation. He also knows [the world of] higher education vey well," Pierre Tambourin, the director-general of Genopole, says.
Since 2014, he's served as the state secretary for state reform and simplification.
ScienceInsider notes that Mandon's plate will be full as French unions seek conversations about researchers', particularly short-term staff's, working conditions, career trajectories for permanent staff, and women in science, among other issues. Further, a recent cut in government spending for universities "has fueled anxiety about the 2016 budget," which ScienceInsider adds is under development.
The state secretary for higher education and research position opened up in March when Geneviève Fioraso stepped aside due to health issues.