Born in Ambazac (France) in 1943. Currently Director-General of the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
After a PhD at Harvard University and a Research Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Cesarsky spent most of her career at the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique in France. From 1994 to 1999 she was Directeur des Sciences de la Matière at CEA. She was also Principal Investigator of ISOCAM, the camera on board of the ESA Infrared Space Observatory.
Member of ESA Astronomy Working Group (1977-80), Chair of EPS Astronomy and Astrophysics Division (1980-83), Editor in Chief of the Journal Astronomy and Astrophysics (1982-85), President of IAU Commission on High Energy Astrophysics (1985-88), Chair of the ESO Observing Programme Committee (1992-93), Vice Chair of the ESO Council (1993-94), Member of the Conseil Supérieur de la Recherche et de la Technologie, French Ministry of Research (1994-96), President of the French society of Professional Astronomers (1994-96), President Elect of the International Astronomical Union (since 2003), member of the Academia Europa, member of the International Academy of Astronautics and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. She received the COSPAR Space Science Award in 1998.
Author of more than 250 scientific papers.