Lisa Campbell becomes the first woman to head the Canadian Space Agency –

For the first time ever andas Canada workstorepositionitself in thecrowded global space race the federal government has taskeda woman tolead the Canadian Space Agency.

The Government of Canada announced today that Lisa Campbellwill replace Sylvain Laporteas president of the CSA. The news release announcing her appointment noted thatnew appointments to key agencies and departments "respectthe principle of diversity."

"One thing I have learned through my career is you'vegot to dream big and you've got toreach for your own stars. So I tried to do that throughout my career," Campbell toldCBC News."I am humbled and honoured by this opportunity."

Campbell takes over theCSA as Canada charts a new course in space exploration, in part througha partnership with the international community on a new lunar program.

Canada is working with other countries to build a space station intended toorbit the moon the Lunar Gateway project. The station is being billedas botha laboratory and, as the CSA puts it,"a stepping stone" for future missions to Mars. One of Canada's contributions to the U.S.-led mission will be an artificial intelligence-based robotic system, the Canadarm3.

In 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed $2.05 billion over 24 years toward Canada's space program and $150 million over five years toward the Lunar Gateway.

Campbell comes to the CSA from a stint asassociate deputy minister for Veterans Affairs Canadaand, before that,as an assistantdeputy minister of defence and marine procurement.

Watch | Campbell excited by timing of her appointment

"Lisa Campbell has worked tirelessly in the service of Canadians throughout her career and has the experience and abilities to move the Agency forward on future explorations," saidInnovation, Science and IndustryMinisterNavdeep Bainsin the news release.

Watch | CBC News: Canada joins Lunar Gateway moon mission (2019)

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Lisa Campbell becomes the first woman to head the Canadian Space Agency -

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