If we try hard to work together, we may have a chance to find the answers, and we may be able to tackle global issues, serious and pressing global issues like climate change and migration, nuclear proliferation, poverty, population growth and so on. Because global issues know no borders, no timeline, and they truly do need our attention.

My friends, aim high, dare to dream. The sky has no limit. To a life that unites us.

Thank you.”

Julie Payette, 29th Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, installed on October 2, 2017.

Formerly a member of the Canadian Astronaut Corps, Payette completed two spaceflights, logging more than twenty five days in space. She served as chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and as capsule communicator at NASA Mission Control in Houston. Payette flew on the Space Shuttle in 1999, on STS-96; her main responsibility was to operate the Canadarm robotic arm from the space station. Payette visited the space station again in 2009 during mission STS-127, as flight engineer and lead robotic operator.

Born in Montreal, Payette completed a Bachelor of Engineering in electrical engineering at McGill University, and a Master of Applied Science in computer engineering at the University of Toronto. At university, Payette worked for IBM Canada’s Science Engineering division. She went on to the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, for a one-year visiting scientist appointment. On return to Canada, she undertook a project in telephone speech comprehension using computer voice recognition at Bell-Northern Research in Montreal.

Selected by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) as one of four astronauts in 1992, Payette worked on Canada’s contribution to the International Space Station, the advanced robotics Mobile Servicing System. Payette established the Human-Computer Interaction Group at the CSA and served as a technical specialist on the NATO International Research Study Group on speech processing.

Payette is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, and a fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics. Payette serves on the Faculty of Engineering Advisory Board of McGill University.