The appointment of Pap Ndiaye as Minister of Education in France announced on May 20 has sparked many reactions; the historian has nevertheless a brilliant and committed career.
Finally, he never left the school benches. Born in Antony to a Senegalese father and a French mother, he had a brilliant university career. A studious student at the Lakanal and Henri IV high schools, then at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Saint-Cloud, he holds a degree in history and a doctorate from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). In other words, “a pure product of the republican meritocracy” as he introduces himself.
The Black condition and the study of racial discrimination
From 1991 to 1997, his work took him to the United States where he began to question his African identity. Back in France, he became one of the pioneers of “Blacks studies” by focusing on the black condition and the study of racial discrimination. In 2004, he co-founded the CAPDIV (Circle of Action for the Promotion of Diversity) with Patrick Lozès, future president of the Representative Council of Black Associations in France (CRAN).
In the meantime, he continued his academic career. A lecturer at EHESS in the Center for North American Studies from 1998 to 2013, he also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and was a visiting professor at Northwestern University and New York University. Since 2013, he has joined the Center for History at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, where his research focuses on American social history, particularly minorities. He is also interested in minority situations in France (history and sociology of black populations).
Brother of the writer Marie Ndiaye, Pap Ndiaye has also been since March 2021, Director General of the Palais de la Porte Dorée … before he was appointed Minister of Education. If his appointment was a surprise on the political scene, his expertise, several times requested from Sarkozy to Hollande, is obvious.