Affiliated with the Europe Ecology – The Greens political party, she served from 2006 to 2013 as the party's National Secretary and went on to hold office from 2012 to 2014 as French Minister of Territorial Equality and Housing.
She earned a business and community planning degree from the Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales (ESSEC) and also studied geography on the graduate level.
She made Foreign Policy magazine's 2010 list of important contributors to global thought.
The child of a science teacher and a railroad worker, she grew up primarily in northern France's Île-de-France district. Her marriage, which ended in divorce, resulted in three daughters and one son.
She served as Minister of Housing under the French presidential administration of Francois Hollande.