Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette

Speaker, Julie Payette
Governor General of Canada

The science proponent

Julie Payette is known for being an astronaut, engineer, scientific broadcaster and corporate director. From 1992 to 2013, Ms. Payette worked as an astronaut and flew two missions in space. She also served many years as CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) at NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, and was Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency.

She is well respected for her work in developing policies to promote science and technology. From 2011 to 2013, she worked as a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and was appointed scientific authority for Quebec in the United States. Between July 2013 and October 2016, she served as Chief Operating Officer of the Montréal Science Centre.

Ms. Payette has been active in a variety of scientific, educational, sports, cultural and administrative fields. She has produced several scientific outreach short programs on Radio-Canada and was a member of McGill University’s Faculty of Engineering Advisory Board. She served on the boards of the Montréal Science Centre Foundation, Robotique FIRST Québec, Drug Free Kids Canada, and the Montreal Bach Festival. She was a long-time member of the board of Own the Podium, a granting organization dedicated to high performance sport in Canada, and was recently appointed to the International Olympic Committee Women in Sport Commission. She has served on the Board of Directors of Développement Aéroport Saint-Hubert de Longueuil and of the National Bank of Canada.

A member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and a fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics, she obtained an International Baccalaureate from the United World College of the Atlantic in the United Kingdom, a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from McGill University and a Master of Applied Science in Computer Engineering degree from the University of Toronto. In addition, Ms. Payette has completed certificate programs in corporate governance and cybersecurity and holds a commercial pilot license.

Ms. Payette has received many distinctions, including 27 honorary doctorates, and can converse in six languages. She is an Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada, Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Commander of the Order of Merit for Police Forces, head of the Canadian Heraldic Authority and a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec.