Born in 1958 in France, Mr. Alain Ratier studied mathematics and sciences, graduating from Ecole Polytechnique in 1981 and from the French National School of Meteorology in 1983. He also earned a Master degree in oceanography from the Paris VI University. After joining the French Meteorological Service in 1983, he spent 5 years in R&D activities on modelling of the upper ocean and air-sea interactions.
During his secondment to the French Space Agency (CNES), from 1987 to 1996, Mr. Ratier contributed to expanding the scope of the French Earth observation programme to atmospheric, oceanographic and climate sciences. In 1994, Mr. Ratier was appointed associate director for Earth observation programmes. In this period he has represented France at ESA (PB-EO), relevant EC committees and the CEOS plenary.
In 1996, Mr. Ratier was selected as the Director of Programme Development of EUMETSAT.
In 2004, returned to Meteo-France, as deputy director-general.
On 1 December 2010, the EUMETSAT Council elected Mr. Ratier as the new Director General of the organisation, with effect on 1 August 2011.