Born in 1954, Guillou is an alumnus of Ecole Polytechnique (1973) and was appointed head of the school's governing board in March 2008. She holds a doctorate in physico-chemistry, is a general engineer of the French Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, and a member of the French Academy of Agriculture. After being the Director-General of INRA from August 2000 to July 2004, Marion Guillou was nominated President of INRA in 2004. In 2009 she became President of Agreenium, the National Consortium for agriculture, food, animal health and the environment, founded by INRA, CIRAD, AgroParisTech, Agrocampus Ouest, Montpellier SupAgro and ENV Toulouse in order to face the global challenges. As director-general of food and nutrition at the French Ministry of Agriculture, Guillou spearheaded the reorganisation of that division, which now counts the quality and safety of agricultural products and food as its main concerns. Guillou was also a former director of industrial relations and research optimisation at INRA, researcher at the University of Nantes physico-chemical laboratory, regional delegate for research and technology in the Loire Region, head of the regional workshop for economic studies and rural development at the regional directorate for agriculture and forestry in Nantes, and adviser to the Minister of Agriculture.