Canadian Space Agency gets a woman chief

Campbell takes over as Canada charts a new course in space exploration, in part through a partnership with the international community on a new lunar program, said CBC.

Canadian Space Agency gets a woman chief
Canadian Space Agency gets a woman chief

Canadian Space Agency gets a woman chief

The Canadian Space Agency is getting its first female president. The government has appointed Lisa Campbell, a longtime public servant, to take the agency’s reigns, the first woman to head the organization since it was founded in 1989, according to a statement from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Campbell takes over as Canada charts a new course in space exploration, in part through a partnership with the international community on a new lunar program, said CBC. Canada is working with other countries to build a space station intended to orbit the moon — the Lunar Gateway project. 

The station is being billed as both a laboratory and, as the CSA puts it, “a stepping stone” for future missions to Mars. One of Canada’s contributions to the U.S.-led mission will be an artificial intelligence-based robotic system, the Canadarm3.

Campbell, who was serving as Associate Deputy Minister, Veterans Affairs, Canada, replaces Sylvain Laporte, who has been President of the agency since 2015.

But, as CTVNews said, it’s the three years she spent managing some of Canada’s largest and costliest military projects as an assistant deputy minister of defence and marine procurement, from 2015 to 2018, that will be most relevant for her new position.

New projects at the CSA include finding ways to protect Canadian and allied satellites from attack, expanding Canadian industry expertise and participation in space, and participating in the US government’s plan to establish a small space station around the moon.

Capmbell has led large, multi-disciplinary teams across government, involving some of the most complex files, and has a strong track record of engaging with diverse stakeholder communities. Campbell also worked at Canada’s competition authority as Senior Deputy Commissioner, reviewing mergers and business conduct.

“Lisa Campbell has worked tirelessly in the service of Canadians throughout her career and has the experience and abilities to move the agency forward on future explorations. Her experience in defense procurement will hold her in good stead as she takes over some of the most important procurements for the space sector,” Navdeep Bains, Canda’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said in a statement, while thanking the outgoing CSA President Laporte for “his excellent work leading the agency for the last five years”.-

Established in March 1989, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is a federal agency responsible for managing all of Canada’s civil space-related activities. The CSA focuses its activities and resources on three main areas — Space exploration: Participation in astronaut missions, astronomy and planetary studies, scientific research in space (execution and support); Space utilization: Earth observation by satellite and collection of space data; and Space science and technology: Development of innovative space technologies and applications used on Earth.