H.E. Alfred Cahen (Ixelles, 28 September 1929 – Brussels, 19 April 2000) was a belgian diplomat and the first president of CERIS “Centre Européen de Recherches Internationales & Stratégiques“. He graduated from the faculty of Law of the ULB “Université Libre de Bruxelles” in 1953. H.E Alfred Cahen entered the ministry of Foreign affairs in 1956 and was assigned at the Belgian delegation to the OECD (1959-62), at Belgian embassy in Kinshasa (1962 -64 & 1970-74), Washington (1974-77) and in between at the Belgian delegation to the UN (1966-68). In 1977 he served as Head of the private office of Minister of Foreign affairs and was appointed from 1979 to 1985 as Political Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He became the Secretary general of the WEU “Western European Union” (1985-89) and served as Ambassador of Belgium in France from 1989 to 1997.
When he was at WEU he formulated the so-called “Cahen doctrine”, stating that only member states of both the European Community and NATO could apply for membership at the WEU. The “Cahen doctrine” formulated at end of the cold war, was made more flexible after the Maastricht (1991) and Kirchberg (1994) declarations of the Council of Ministers of the WEU. After is retirement in 1997 H.E. Alfred Cahen was Secretay General of the Atlantic Traety Association. H.E. Alfred Cahen has been professor of International politics at (ULB) Free University of Brussels from 1979 to 1994. In 1985 he co-founded, together with Robert Anciaux and Georges Delcoigne, the CERIS “Centre Europeen de Reccherches Internationales & Stratégiques“. He served as president of CERIS from 1985 to 2000. In honnor to his memory, the Academic Board of CERIS will inaugurate the “Alfred Cahen Lecture Hall” in October 2011.