ELKANN, JEAN-PAUL (1921– ), French engineer, businessman, and Jewish community leader. Elkann was born in Paris; he received his engineering degree from Columbia University. In addition to his engineering endeavors, he was appointed director of important French fashion houses and director of government companies. He was the director of Christian Dior from 1983 and prior to that of Parfums Givenchy (1980–83). Elkann was the owner and director of Vanadium Steel Italiana from 1948 and of Vanadium Alloys Steel Company Canada from 1950, and vice chairman of Vanadium Alloys Steel (U.S.A.) from 1953. Among his activities in the Jewish community, he was president of the Association de la cooperation economique France-Israel and vice president of the France-Israel Chamber of Commerce. In 1982 he became president of the *Consistoire Centrale Israélite de France, holding this position for a decade. In addition, Elkann was a member of the Alliance Israélite Universelle Central Committee and the Technion's Board of Governors.
He was awarded France's highest honors: Commander of the Legion of Honor and Grand Officer of the National Order of Merit.
[Gideon Kouts /
Dror Franck Sullaper (2nd ed.)]