The organizing committee of the 18th CASI Astronautics Conference is pleased to confirm that the four Canadian Space Agency Directors General – Eric Laliberté, Gilles Leclerc, Jean-Claude Piedboeuf and Mary Preville – will participate as panelists on the first day of the Conference.


Eric Laliberté, Director General, Space Utilization

Eric Laliberté

Eric Laliberté

As Director General, Space Utilization for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Eric Laliberté is accountable for the overall planning, direction and general management of the Space Utilization Branch of the CSA, whose mandate is the end-to-end implementation of the Earth Observation, Satellite Communications and Space environment elements of the Canadian Space Program. Mr. Laliberté joined the CSA in 2001 where he held various positions, the most recent being Director of Space Exploration Projects and Director General of Space Science and Technology.

Eric holds a Masters in Engineering Management from the University of Sherbrooke and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with an automation specialty from McGill University. He served 12 years as an Aerospace Engineering Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force before joining the Canadian Space Agency. He was part of the Air Reserve for 10 years where he assumed the responsibilities of Quality Manager and of 438 Squadron’s Aircraft Maintenance Flight Commander.



Gilles Leclerc, Director General, Space Exploration

Gilles Leclerc

Gilles Leclerc

Gilles Leclerc joined the Canadian Space Agency in 1989 where he has performed functions ranging from project engineer to acting president, in a variety of activities from satellite communications to human spaceflight. Between 1997 and 2000 he was posted at the Canadian Embassy in Paris as Counsellor, Science, Technology and Space Affairs.

Since 2010, Mr. Leclerc has been leading CSA’s Space Exploration program, managing Canada’s participation in the International Space Station; astronomy and planetary missions; astronauts, space robotics and life sciences programs. He is a Member of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec.





Jean-Claude Piedbœuf, Director General, Space Science & Technology

Jean-Claude Piedboeuf

Jean-Claude Piedboeuf

Jean-Claude Piedbœuf is the Director General, Space Science and Technology at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). His group carries out activities that range from pre-mission R&D to timely flight demonstration, with the goal of positioning the Canadian space sector for global opportunities. These activities are aimed at increasing space and market readiness, pushing the frontiers of research and knowledge with an emphasis on developing the space workforce of tomorrow by encouraging college and university students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The objective is to sustain a core foundation in the Canadian space sector with a competitive workforce as well as science, technologies and innovations that are ready for space flights. This is done through CSA managed programs that support universities and industries and through a partnership with the European Space Agency. His group also provides space qualification services through the David Florida Laboratory as well as the technical, engineering and intellectual property specialty services to the CSA.

Mr. Piedbœuf graduated from École Polytechnique in 1983 in Mechanical Engineering. He got an MscA (1985) and a PhD (1989) in Electrical Engineering from École Polytechnique with a specialization in robotics. After completing his Ph.D. in 1989, he spent a year in Germany doing research, then became a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He joined the Canadian Space Agency in 1996 as a researcher in robotics. Throughout his career at the CSA he  worked in various management, strategic planning and executive positions in Space Technology until 2010 then moved to Space Exploration between 2010 to 2014 and was acting Director General for one year.


Mary Preville, Director General, Policy

Mary Preville

Mary Preville

Mary Preville joined the Canadian Space Agency in September 2016, as Director General of Policy. Ms. Preville is responsible for the development of space policy to support the Canadian industry and research community, as well as domestic and international engagement with stakeholders across the space sector.

Previously Ms. Preville was Director General of Strategic Policy and Operations in the Earth Sciences Sector at Natural Resources Canada where she was responsible Canada’s centre of excellence for Arctic logistics for the advancement of scientific knowledge, for the Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation program, as well as for a number of international and policy issues.  For many years, Ms. Preville was the lead executive responsible for the design and delivery of energy research and development programs, and spent two years at the International Energy Agency in Paris.

Ms. Preville holds a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) from McGill University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.

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About the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute

Founded in 1954, the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute is a not-for-profit professional scientific and technical organization devoted to the advancement of the art, science, engineering and applications related to aeronautics, astronautics and associated technologies in Canada. CASI provides a focus for communications and networking, promotes Canadian competence and global competitiveness, and fosters national pride and international esteem for Canada’s accomplishments in aeronautics and space.

For more information

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