Claudie Haigneré has been a senior advisor to the ESA Director General since April 2015. Doctor of medicine in rheumatology (Hospital Cochin Paris, 1984-90) and PhD in neurosciences (CNRS, 1986-90), Claudie Haigneré became the first European woman astronaut candidate in 1985 when she got selected by CNES (French space agency). She started her training in Star City (Russia) in 1992. Four years later, in 1996, she spent 16 days as a research cosmonaut on board the Mir Space Station during her Cassiopée mission. She became a member of the European Astronaut corps in 1999 and the same year she became the first woman to qualify as a Soyuz Return Commander. She performed her second space mission on board the ISS in 2001, which lasted 10 days.
Claudie Haigneré served as Minister for Research and New Technologies in the French government under the presidency of Jacques Chirac from June 2002 to April 2004. She then served as Minister for European Affairs from April 2004 to June 2005. From 2005 to 2009 she was Senior Adviser to ESA’s Director General in European space strategy, and ESA’s strategic adaptation. From 2009 to 2015 she was CEO of Universcience, a French science museum combining the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie and the Palais de la Découverte in Paris.
Dr. Haigneré is also Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and Docteur Honoris Causa from multiple universities (EPFL, Université de Mons, Beihang University Beijing), as well as a Member of the French Académie des Technologies, Académie des Sports, Académie des Sciences de l’Outre-Mer, and a Member of the Belgian Académie des Sciences.
“We have been impressed and inspiredby the participant’s strength of conviction to push for breakthroughs, they gave us hope this afternoon for the future with the diversity of their proposals”.