21 June 2001
Meeting at the Agency's headquarters in Paris on 20 and 21 June, the ESA Council appointed Jean-Pol Poncelet, a Belgian, to the post of Director of Strategy and External Relations, for a four-year term.
Mr Poncelet, 51, graduated in physics at the University of Louvain in 1973. After a further year at that university, he worked as an engineer in Belgonucleaire (1974-79) and as researcher at the Luxembourg University Foundation (1979-85). Since 1990 he has been in charge of a postgraduate course on energy and the environment. Mr Poncelet also held various posts in the Ministries of Science Policy and Economic Affairs, and was advisor to the State Secretary for the Environment on matters of nuclear security (1987-91).
In his political career, from 1991 to 1995 he was a Member of the House of Representatives, and from 1995 to 1999 was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Minister of Energy. He is currently a Member of the House of Representatives.
"I welcome the decision of our Council to appoint Mr Poncelet" said ESA Director General, Antonio Rodotà. "His wide-ranging background and political experience will certainly help ESA make the right strategic choices, in both the European and the international context" he added.
For further information: