On 6 December 2017, Aurélie Willi was appointed director of communication and reports to Inria's directorate-general. Her mission is to make Inria's initiatives and activities known to, and understood by, its different target audiences (internal, external and institutional). The communication department supports the international development of the institute and furthers its proximity with the innovation ecosystem and business creation.
She graduated from the business school Ecole Supérieure de Sciences Commerciales in Angers in 1998, with a specialisation in services marketing. She joined Sodexo, the world's leading collectivity service provider as a marketing analyst, based in Boston, MA, USA. Upon her return to France, she entered the communication and sustainable development department as the group's institutional and financial communication manager. From 2003 to 2005, she studied for an executive MBA in brand management at the business school EUROMED Marseille, after which she became the brand's manager.
In 2008, she joined the French subsidiary of the Korean car manufacturer Kia Motors (Hyundai Group) to develop a brand management programme for the executive committee. After four years of hypergrowth and the development of innovative services, she joined Nissan's West Europe operation as head of the advertising and media department, where she was involved in the commercial launch of the first 100% electric car marketed in France. In 2015, she became head of communication for SKODA within the Volkswagen France group, working on the brand's growth plan.