Jean-Jacques Dordain was Director General of the European Space Agency between 2003 and 2015. Graduating from École Centrale Paris in 1968, Jean-Jacques Dordain began his scientific career in the French Aerospace Research Agency (ONERA) and later worked as a professor at the National Higher School of Aeronautics and Aerospace in the 1970s and 1980s. He has conducted extensive research in rocket engines and microgravity experiments. He was also a European astronaut candidate. In 1998 he was Executive Secretary at the Japanese Space Agency (then NASDA, now JAXA) and later started as Director of Launchers at ESA, where he became Director General in July 2003. He is Officer of the Legion of Honor and of the National Order of Merit.