Luton was born on August 4, 1942, in Chamalières, near
Clermont-Ferrand in Central France. After graduating from
the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in 1961 with an engineering
degree, he joined the Aeronomy Department of the French National
Scientific Research Organization, CNRS (Centre National de
la Recherche Scientifique). He was named Special Research
Advisor at CNES in 1971, the same year he was detached to
the Ministry of Industrial and Scientific Development, where
he participated in the European negotiations that led to the
creation of the European Space Agency, ESA.
joined the French Space Agency, CNES (Centre National d'Etudes
Spatiales) in 1974 as Head of the Research Program Division.
In 1975 he became Head of the Planning and Development Division,
then Program Director in 1978. Mr. Luton was named Assistant
Director General in 1984, in charge of relations with governmental
authorities, relations between CNES and its subsidiaries,
and financial planning.
As CNES delegate
to the European Space Agency Council, he served as Chairman
of the Administrative and Finance Committee, as well as representing
CNES on the Arianespace Board of Directors.
In May 1987, Jean-Marie
Luton joined the French firm Aerospatiale as Director of Space
Programs in the Strategic and Space Systems Division.
He was named Director
General of CNES in February 1989, and Director General of
the European Space Agency in October 1990.
has been appointed Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, effective
July 1st 1997. On June 7, 2002, he is appointed Chairman of
the Board of the company.
Mr. Luton is an
Officier of the Legion of Honor and Commander of the National
Order of Merit. He is also a member of the International Academy
of Astronautics (IAA) and the Association Aéronautique
et Astronautique de France (AAAF), which awarded Mr. Luton
its Astronautics Prize in 1985.