ENA was created just after the end of the Second World War by executive order (Ordonnance) of the provisional government of the French Republic, then led by General de Gaulle.
This ordonnance, dated October 9, 1945 was prepared by a temporary task force on administrative reform, led by Michel Debré, then a member of the Council of State (Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest administrative court). Its intent was to "fully overhaul France’s administrative machinery," essentially by broadening access to recruitment for the highest executive levels of the non-technical civil service through a common entrance examination.
ENA has continued to update its structures and educational program with the aim of remaining faithful to the principles that guided its foundation in 1945.
A Committee for the History of ENA was created in 1999. A direct part of the Office of the Director of the school, this committee draws on the testimony of former students, members of the school’s administration, teachers, and members of examination boards, as well as many others who have taken part in the school’s operations.
The real memory of the school, the Committee on History is led by its Secretary-General, Robert Chelle. It regularly publishes the results of research and studies in a periodical, Cahiers pour l’Histoire de l’ENA, which includes special issues on featured themes or subjects. Certain documents essential for close knowledge of the school are also made available: courses, lectures, student work (reports on professional training experiences or seminars), directors’ reports, reports of the chairpersons of examination panels, and others.
René Cassin et l'Ecole nationale d'administration [ENA] / Comité d'histoire de l'Ecole nationale d'administration. Paris : La Documentation française, 2004. - 122 p. ; 24 cm.
René Cassin fut vice-président du Conseil d'Etat, président du conseil d'administration de l'ENA (1945-1960).
Contains: Actes de l'hommage au président René Cassin (17 mars 2003, Ecole nationale 'administration). Témoignages sur René Cassin. Allocutions et textes inédits de René Cassin, président du conseil d'administration de l'ENA)