Charles Elachi, Vice President; Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Planetary Science, has been awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur which is the highest decoration of the French Republic. [Caltech Feature]
The National Order of the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur) is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the First Republic, on 19 May 1802. The Order is the highest decoration in France and is divided into five various degrees: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). The order's motto is Honneur et Patrie ("Honour and Fatherland"), and its seat is the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur on the left bank of the River Seine in Paris.
Charles Elachi was appointed Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in May 2001. Dr. Elachi received his B.Sc. (’68) in physics from University of Grenoble, France; the Dipl. Ing. (’68) in engineering from the Polytechnic Institute, Grenoble, and both a M.Sc. (’69) and Ph.D. (’71) degree in electrical sciences from the California Institute of Technology. He also has a M.Sc. (‘83) degree in geology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MBA (’79) from the University of Southern California. Dr. Elachi joined JPL in 1970. Prior to becoming Director, Dr. Elachi was JPL’s Director for Space and Earth Science Programs (beginning in 1982) where he was responsible for the development of numerous flight missions and instruments for Earth observation, planetary exploration and astrophysics. In 1989 Dr. Elachi was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and has served on a number of academy committees. Dr. Elachi has received numerous awards, which now will include the “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, France.” The National Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest French decoration established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the First Republic, on 19 May 1802. It is a civil and military award conferred for distinguished merit or outstanding acts rendered to the nation. The order's motto is Honneur et Patrie ("Honour and Fatherland"), and its seat is the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur on the left bank of the River Seine in Paris. The Grand Master is the President of the French Republic. Currently, Nicolas Sarkozy.
Jean-Lou Chameau, President; Professor of Civil Engineering, Environmental Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, has also received the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur.
French Ambassador to the US, Francois Delattre (left) and Charles Elachi (right)