Prof. José Achache
José Achache became the first Director of the GEO Secretariat in 2005.
Of French nationality, Prof. Achache graduated from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. He obtained a doctorate in geophysics at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in 1979 and a doctorate in physical sciences at the Université René Descartes in 1984. He was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University from 1979 to 1980.
Prof. Achache began his career at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris as a Research Assistant and then as “Chargé de Recherche”. In 1989, he became a Professor, created the Department of Space Studies and was appointed Director of the Graduate School of Earth Sciences.
In 1996, he joined the French Geological Survey (BRGM) as deputy director of the Research Division and the following year became its director. In 1999, he joined the French Space Agency (CNES) as advisor to the President and, in 2000, he was appointed Deputy Director General of CNES.
In 2002, Prof. Achache joined the European Space Agency (ESA) as Director of Earth Observation. While at ESA, he developed the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme in partnership with the European Commission.
José Achache is the author of a scientific and geopolitical essay entitled Les Sentinelles de la Terre, which discusses the benefits of Earth observation for a better management of the planet, adaptation to environmental changes and the mitigation of disasters and epidemics. He has published more than 70 scientific papers in international journals on subjects in Earth sciences, geophysical imaging, planetary sciences, Earth observation from space, natural hazards, and space and science policy.