Rima Abdul-Malak

Former Minister of Culture of France

Rima Abdul-Malak, an influential Franco-Lebanese politician, has dedicated her life to cultural and humanitarian engagement, and to defending the French exception internationally.



Spoken Language: French, English


Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Rima Abdul-Malak spent the first ten years of her life in a war-torn country. In 1989, her family decided to leave Lebanon and settle in Lyon. Rima Abdul-Malak continued her studies at the International High School of Lyon before joining the city’s Institute of Political Studies, where she graduated in 1999. She then completed her education with a DESS in Development and International Cooperation from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in 2000.


She began her career in humanitarian work with the Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development, where she supported partner associations in Israel and the Palestinian territories. She notably worked with the Bibliobus for Peace and Non-Violence and the association “Culture and Free Thought”. From 2001 to 2006, she directed the programs of the association Clowns Without Borders, which provides psychosocial support to children in crisis zones through laughter and performance. In this role, she coordinated funding, organized missions, and managed the network of volunteers and artists.

In 2007, she became head of the contemporary music department at Culturesfrance (now the Institut français), before joining the Paris City Hall in 2008. Initially an advisor for performing arts to the Deputy Mayor for Culture, Christophe Girard, she later became his chief of staff in 2010, and then cultural advisor to the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, from 2012 to 2014. During this period, she led the city’s cultural policy, participated in the reform of municipal theaters, the opening of new cultural facilities such as the Centquatre and the Gaîté-Lyrique, and the organization of the États Généraux de la Nuit. She managed a significant budget and a team of 3,500 employees.

In 2014, she was appointed cultural attaché at the French Embassy in the United States, where she promoted French culture, organized festivals, and supported Francophone artists. In November 2019, she became the cultural and communication advisor to President Emmanuel Macron, playing a key role during the Covid-19 pandemic, notably supporting freelance artists and contributing to the recovery plan for the cultural industry.


On May 20, 2022, Rima Abdul-Malak was appointed Minister of Culture in the government of Élisabeth Borne. She then led a team of 15 people and a central administration of 3,900 agents and 18 regional departments and managing a budget of 11 billion euros. Her tenure was marked by major national initiatives such as the Arts and Crafts Plan, La Relève, the Grande Fabrique de l’image, and ecological and heritage projects. She also oversaw the creation of new cultural venues and the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. She stepped down from her role in January 2024.


Madame Abdul-Malak has devoted her career to the promotion and protection of culture, both in France and internationally. Her journey, marked by commitment, innovation, and diversity, establishes her as an emblem of culture in France and around the world.