Geographer by training, Laurent Bossard has devoted his professional career to the issue of development in West Africa. He joined the European Commission’s Directorate General for Development in 1982, where he was posted to Burkina Faso as Technical Adviser for Regional Co-operation in the Sahel countries, a post he held until 1988. From 1989 to 1994 he worked for the FAO Investment Centre on World Bank programmes, mainly in Benin and Niger. He joined the “Sahel Club” in 1995 to work on the West Africa Long-Term Perspectives Study. He then contributed to a reflection process on the future of the Sahel (Sahel 21) and international co-operation (Co-operation 21). He was nominated Director of the Secretariat in March 2011. Mr. Bossard has produced numerous reports, studies and articles, and co-ordinated, among others, the Regional Atlas on West Africa (2009) and the Atlas of the Sahara-Sahel (2014).