Her Excellency Anne-Marie Idrac was appointed French minister of state for foreign trade in 2008 by President Nicolas Sarkozy. Previously, she was chairman of the SNCF (French National Railways) from 2006 to 2008. Under her leadership, the SNCF confronted the challenge of competition and international reach and signed high-speed train contracts in Argentina and Morocco. She also sat on the Conseil Economique et Social (Economic and Social Council) as a representative of public sector enterprises from 2004 to 2008. Idrac served as president of the European Movement France, committed to uniting the continent on principles of human rights, from 1999 until 2005. In 2002, she was named chairman and CEO of the RATP (Paris public transit authority). During her term, the RATP expanded its scope to the global stage, signing contracts in South Africa, Morocco and Italy. Idrac served as minister of state for transport from 1995 to 1997 and served as director of ground transport from 1993 to 1995, when ground transport across Europe was experiencing major shifts. As managing director from 1990 to 1993 of the Etablissement Public d"Aménagement de Cergy-Pointoise, a collection of communes northwest of Paris, Idrac was instrumental in the founding of the University of Cergy. After studying at the Institute of Political Studies and Paris Law School, Idrac received her degree from the French Senior Civil Service School.