Julie Payette

Julie Payette

Her Excellency the Right Honourable
Julie Payette
Julie Payette - JSC2009e123567 - cropped.jpg
 This Article is Answer to Who is Julie Payette?
29th Governor General of Canada
Assumed office
October 2, 2017
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Preceded by David Johnston
Personal details
Born (1963-10-20) October 20, 1963 (age 53)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Residence Rideau Hall
Ottawa, Ontario
Education McGill University (BEng)
University of Toronto (MAS)
CSA astronaut
Time in space
25 days 11 h 57 min
Selection 1992 CSA Group
Missions STS-96, STS-127
Mission insignia
Sts-96-patch.svg STS-127 patch.png

Julie Payette is a Canadian businesswoman, former astronaut, engineer, and the current Governor General of Canada, the 29th since Canadian Confederation. Payette has completed two spaceflights, STS-96 and STS-127, logging more than 25 days in space. She served as chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and has served as capsule communicator at NASA Mission Control Center in Houston.

In July 2013, Payette was named chief operating officer for the Montreal Science Centre, and in April 2014, she was appointed a director of the National Bank of Canada.[4] On July 13, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada had approved the appointment of Payette as the next Governor General of Canada. She was sworn in on October 2, 2017.

Education and early career

Payette was born on October 20, 1963 in Montreal, Quebec  and lived in the Ahuntsic neighbourhood, attending Collège Mont-Saint-Louis and Collège Regina Assumpta. In 1982 she completed an International Baccalaureate diploma at the United World College of the Atlantic in South Wales, United Kingdom.

For her undergraduate studies, Julie Payette enrolled in McGill University where she completed a Bachelor of Engineering degree in electrical engineering in 1986, after which she completed a Master of Applied Science degree in computer engineering at the University of Toronto in 1990. Her thesis focused on computational linguistics, a field of artificial intelligence.

Between 1986 and 1988, Payette worked as a systems engineer for IBM Canada’s Science Engineering division. From 1988 to 1990, as a graduate student at the University of Toronto, Julie Payette was involved in a high-performance computer architecture project and worked as a teaching assistant. At the beginning of 1991, Payette joined the Communications and science department of the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in Switzerland, for a one-year visiting scientist appointment. When she returned to Canada, in January 1992, she joined the Speech Research Group of Bell-Northern Research in Montreal where she was responsible for a project in telephone speech comprehension using computer voice recognition.

Personal life

Payette married engineer François Brissette in the 1990s; they were divorced in 1999. Her second marriage was to William Flynn, whom Julie Payette divorced in 2015, and with whom she has one son, Laurier.[15] She tends to be quite protective of her privacy.[

Julie Payette is fluent in French (her mother tongue) and English, and can converse in Spanish, German, Italian and Russian. She plays the piano and has sung with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and several others.

Canadian Space Agency

Julie Payette

Payette’s official portrait from STS-96.

Payette was selected by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) as one of four astronauts from a field of 5,330 applicants in June 1992. After undergoing basic training in Canada, she worked as a technical advisor for the Mobile Servicing System, an advanced robotics system and Canada’s contribution to the International Space Station. In 1993, Julie Payette established the Human-Computer Interaction Group at the Canadian Astronaut Program and served as a technical specialist on the NATO International Research Study Group on speech processing.

In preparation for a space assignment, Julie Payette obtained her commercial pilot licence and logged 120 hours as a research operator on reduced gravity aircraft. In April 1996, Payette was certified as a one-atmosphere deep sea diving suit operator. Payette obtained her captaincy on the CT-114 Tutor military jet at CFB Moose Jaw in February 1996 and her military instrument rating in 1997. Payette has logged more than 1,300 hours of flight time,including 600 hours on high performance jet aircraft.

Payette reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996 to begin mission specialist training. After completing one year of training, Julie Payette was assigned to work on the Mobile Servicing System. Payette completed the initial astronaut training in April 1998.

Spaceflight experience

Payette aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour during STS-127

Payette served as chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency from 2000 to 2007. She also worked as capsule communicator at the Mission Control Center in Houston for several years, including the return to flight mission STS-114. She was lead capsule communicator during STS-121.[10]


Payette flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery from May 27 to June 6, 1999, as part of the crew of STS-96. During the mission, the crew performed the first manual docking of the shuttle to the International Space Station, and delivered four tons of logistics and supplies to the station. On Discovery, Payette served as a mission specialist. Her main responsibility was to operate the Canadarm robotic arm from the space station.[20] The STS-96 mission was accomplished in 153 orbits of the Earth, traveling over six million kilometres (3,700,000 mi) in 9 days, 19 hours and 13 minutes. Payette became the first Canadian to participate in an ISS assembly mission and to board the Space Station.[17]


Payette visited the space station again in 2009 as a mission specialist aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour during mission STS-127 from July 15–31, 2009, and was the flight engineer and lead robotic operator during the mission.[21] At that time, Robert Thirsk was a member of Expedition 20 on the space station. It marked the first time two Canadians were in space.[22]

During her second mission, Payette brought a signed sweater of the famed Montreal Canadiens player Maurice Richard, stating she had brought Richard, who was known as “The Rocket”, into the rocket to celebrate the hockey team’s 100th anniversary.[23]


During 2010–2011, she worked at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. and was also a scientific delegate to the United States for the Quebec Government.[24] [25][26] For the next three years, Payette was CEO of the Montreal Science Centre of the Société du Vieux-Port de Montréal.[27] During that time, she was also a Vice President of the Canada Lands Company.[28][29]

In July 2011 Payette, while driving her Volkswagen Touareg in Maryland, struck and killed Theresa “Terry” Potts. The killing was ruled accidental after investigation by local police. All charges against Payette were dropped in December 2011.[30]

Payette has served on boards of directors, at Queen’s University, Canada’s Own the Podium Olympic program, Montréal Science Centre foundation, Robotique FIRST Québec, Drug Free Kids Canada, the Montreal Bach Festival, the National Bank of Canada, Développement Aéroport Saint-Hubert de Longueuil, and others. She was recently appointed to the International Olympic Committee’s Women in Sports Commission.[26][31] She is a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and a fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics. As well, Payette is a member of the Faculty of Engineering Advisory Board of McGill University.[26]

Governor General

Payette was announced on July 13, 2017, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recommendation to be the 29th Governor General of Canada. Her term was scheduled to begin October 2, 2017, after the completion of briefings from the incumbent, David Johnston.[32] After the announcement was made, Johnston issued a statement congratulating Payette and welcoming “a Canadian of extraordinary achievement, admired by all”.[33]

As the designate, Payette had her first official meeting with Queen Elizabeth II on September 20, 2017 at Balmoral Castle when she was also invested as an Extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada (C.C.), an Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit (C.M.M.) and a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (C.O.M.) by Her Majesty.[34]

Payette was installed as Canada’s 29th Governor General on October 2, 2017. Afterwards, she urged Canadians to work together on issues such as climate change, migration and poverty. “Anyone can accomplish anything and rise to the challenge as long as they are willing to work with others, to let go of the personal agenda, to reach a higher goal and to do what is right for the common good. This is exactly what I hope my mandate as the governor general will reflect,” Payette said.[35]

Titles, styles, honours, and arms


Viceregal styles of
Julie Payette
Crest of the Governor-General of Canada.svg
Reference style Her Excellency the Right Honourable
Son Excellence la très honorable
Spoken style Your Excellency
Votre Excellence
Alternative style Ma’am
  • October 20, 1963 – October 2, 2017: Ms Julie Payette
  • October 2, 2017 –: Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.[36][37]



Ribbon bars of Julie Payette
RCAF Astronaut wings.png


Several notable Canadians, including Payette (right back), carrying the Olympic flag at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver
  • 2000 –: Knight of the National Order of Québec
  • 2001 –: Knight of la Pléiade de l’Association des parlementaires de langue française
  • June 10, 2010 –: Member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame[38]
  • May 6, 2010 – September 20, 2017: Officer of the Order of Canada (OC)
    • September 20, 2017 – October 2, 2017: Companion of the Order of Canada (CC)[39]
    • October 2, 2017 –: Chancellor and Principal and extraordinary Companion of the Order of Canada (CC)
  • 2013 –: Academy of Great Montrealers (Scientific category)[40]
  • 2016 –: Commander of the Order of Montreal[40]
  • September 20, 2017 – October 2, 2017: Commander of the Order of Military Merit (CMM)[39]
    • October 2, 2017 –: Chancellor and extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit (CMM)
  • September 20, 2017 – October 2, 2017: Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (COM)[41]
    • October 2, 2017 –: Chancellor and Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (COM)
  • October 2, 2017 –: Dame of Justice, Prior, and Chief Officer in Canada of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (DStJ)[42]
  • October 2, 2017 –: Patron Scout of Canada
  • October 2, 2017 –: Honorary Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard
  • 2012: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • September 28, 2017: Canadian Forces Decoration[43]
Foreign honours
  • June 25, 2010: NASA Exceptional Service Medal[31]

Honorary military appointments

  • October 2, 2017 –: Colonel of the Regiment of the Governor General’s Horse Guards
  • October 2, 2017 –: Colonel of the Regiment of the Governor General’s Foot Guards
  • October 2, 2017 –: Colonel of the Regiment of the Canadian Grenadier Guards

Honorary degrees

Payette holds 27 honorary doctorates,[44] Some of the honorary degrees she has received:

  • 1999: Queen’s University, Doctor of Science (DSc)[45]
  • 1999: University of Ottawa, Doctor of the University (DUniv)[46]
  • March 10, 2000: Simon Fraser University, Doctor of Laws (LLD)[47]
  • 2000: Université Laval, Doctorate
  • 2001: University of Regina, Doctorate[48]
  • 2001: Royal Roads University, Doctorate[49]
  • June 13, 2001: University of Toronto, Doctor of Science (DSc)[50]
  • June 2002: University of Victoria, Doctor of Science (DSc)[51]
  • 2002: Nipissing University, Doctor of Letters (DLitt)[52]
  • June 3, 2003: McGill University, Doctor of Science (DSc)[53][54]
  • 2004: Mount Saint Vincent University, Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL)[55]
  • June 2004: McMaster University, Doctor of Science (DSc)[56]
  • 2005: University of Lethbridge, Doctor of Science (DSc)[57]
  • 2006: University of Alberta, Doctorate
  • November 25, 2010: University of British Columbia, Doctor of Science (DSc)[58][59]
  • 2010: York University, Doctor of Science (DSc)[60]
  • June 2010: Concordia University, Doctor of Science (DSc)[61]
  • 2010: University of Waterloo, Doctor of Science (DSc)[62]
  • 2011: Niagara University, Doctor of Laws (LLD)[63]
  • 2012: Carleton University, Doctor of Engineering (DEng)[64]
  • June 4, 2012: Vancouver Island University, Doctor of Technology (DTech)[65]
  • May 30, 2013: University of Manitoba, Doctor of Science (DSc)[66]
  • June 10, 2013: University of Calgary, Doctor of Laws (LLD)[67] [68]
  • June 23, 2016: British Columbia Institute of Technology, Doctor of Technology (DTech)[69]

Honorific eponyms


  • Julie Payette Public School, Whitby[70]

Other honours

Payette assisted in the carrying of the Olympic flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia

Related: sunita williams  christa mcauliffe  catherine coleman  marc garneau  helen sharman  robert thirsk  roberta bondar

From Wikipedia

2 thoughts on “Julie Payette

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.