Claudie Haigneré

Claudie Haigneré.
Scientist, Astronaut, former Minister delegate for Research and President of Université Science 1, Sorbonne, Paris. Ambassador for the OPC.


After being appointed President of both la Cité des sciences et de l’industrie (the biggest science museum in Europe) and conseil d’administration du Palais, Claudia Haigrené was appointed Présidente d’Universcience in February 2010, a new public establishment which united both these posts.

As such, she is head of the Management Board for la Géode (part of la Cité des Sciences et de l’industrie) and Vice-President of the Villette Foundation.

Claudia Haigneré studied medicine before going on to obtain certificates in Rheumatology and space medicine and an honorary Science PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and the University of Mons.

Aged 54, she was selected by the French government space agency (CNES) to become the first French (and also European) female astronaut. She consequently took two flights into space: once on board the Russian space station MIR in 1996 (Mission Cassiopée), the other on the international space station ISS in 2001 (Mission Andromède). Until 2008, she was the only woman in the European Space Agency (ESA).

Claudia Haigneré has also worked for the French government as also Minister delegate for Research and Nez Technologies from 2002 to 2004 and as Minister delegate for European Affaires from 2004 to 2005.

She is a member of the French society for Space Medicine, the Academy of Technology, the Academy of Sport, the International Astronomical Foundation, the International Astronautical Academy, the Air and Space Academy and the Royal Academy of Belgium.

She is also an administrator for the Ecole Normale Supérieur (ENS) of Paris, Sanofi-Aventis, France Telecom, the French Foundation, the L’Oréql Foundation, the Lacoste Foundation and C. Génial Foundation.

She is also on the board for the European Network of Science Centres and Museums, Deutsches museum and for Mirikan Strategic Consulting (Tokyo).

In 2010, Claudie Haigneré set up and directed « Plaidoyer », a scheme to bring science and culture closer together. In 2003 she released a book, “Lettres à tous ceux qui aiment l’école” (Letters to all those who like school) and has also written many columns as well as scientific and medical articles.

Claudie Haigneré also enjoys golf, reading, contemporary art (particularly painting and sculpture) and has competed in gymnastics competitions.

As Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour, Knight of the National Order of Merit and an Aeronautics Medal Holder, she has also received many accolades abroad. In Russia, she has been awarded The People’s Friendship Order, the Personal Courage Order and the Medal for Merits in Space Exploration and in Germany, the Federal German Republic Cross of the Order of Merit).

Claudia Haigneré was awarded the Prix Grand Siècle in 1996, the Henry Deutsch de la Merthe Prize in 1998 and the Louise Weiss Prize in 2005.

She is married to astronaut Jean-Pierre Haigneré and has a daughter, Carla.