A trained engineer and scientist, Jean-Yves Le Gall has devoted his entire career to the European space programme. He has held positions within the French national scientific research agency (CNRS), several French ministries, Novespace, Starsem and Arianespace, the latter of which he served as Chairman and CEO. Le Gall is currently a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and Vice-President of the ‘Space Circle’ at a French think tank. In 2015, he was elected Co-Chair of the Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Incoming President of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).
Le Gall is the recipient of the Astronautics Prize from the French Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AAAF) and the Icarus Prize from the French Association of Professional Aerospace Journalists. In 2005, he was named Via Satellite magazine's Satellite Executive of the Year and, in 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC). He is a 2011 inductee of the Society of Satellite Professionals International Hall of Fame.
Appointed CNES President in 2013, Le Gall’s term was extended in 2015.