Jean-Yves Le Gall

In April 2013, the French government appointed Jean-Yves Le Gall as President of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency. In this capacity, he is also interministerial coordinator for satellite navigation programmes.

CNES is responsible for proposing and implementing space policy in France. It is therefore involved in all aspects of space (Ariane, sciences, observation, telecommunications and defence) through its four centres of excellence in Paris, Toulouse and French Guiana, with 2,450 employees and a budget of €2,127m (2014). CNES also represents France on the Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) and at many other international organizations. It is the core shareholder in various commercial enterprises, including Arianespace.

Jean-Yves Le Gall has devoted his entire career to the European space programme, holding positions within the French national scientific research agency CNRS, several French ministries, Novespace, Starsem and a first stint with CNES. He joined Arianespace in 2001, heading up the company until his appointment as President of CNES.

A trained engineer and scientist, Jean-Yves Le Gall is Vice-President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and Vice-President of the “Space Circle” in French think-tank CEPS (Centre d’Etude et de Prospective Stratégique). He also chairs the France-Japan business council of MEDEF International, the international arm of the French business confederation.

Jean-Yves Le Gall received the Astronautics Prize from the French Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AAAF) in 2001. He was named Via Satellite magazine’s 2005 Satellite Executive of the Year, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 from the Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC). In 2011, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SPPI), and has also received the Icarus Prize from the French association of professional aerospace journalists (AJPAE). In 2014 he received a Laureate Award from Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine in the Space category.

Jean-Yves Le Gall holds the rank of Officer in both the Legion of Honour and the National Order of Merit in France, and was awarded the Order of Friendship by the Russian Federation.