Caroline Laurent is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique engineering school (1982) and of ENSAE, the French national aerospace school (1982), and a former intern of the French high armaments studies centre (CHEAR). She is an Officer of the Legion of Honour and Officer of the National Order of Merit, and holder of the Médaille de l’Aéronautique aerospace medal.
Caroline Laurent joined the French defence procurement agency DGA in 1987 at its Missiles and Space Directorate, where she held a succession of posts in charge of technical and research projects in the fields of satellites, oceanography and space reconnaissance.
In 1994 and 1995, she worked on defining French space policy and was appointed Head of Space Research Programmes at the Ministry of Industry.
In 2001, she took up the post of Director of the Syracuse military telecommunications programme.
From 2007 to 2011, Caroline Laurent headed the unit managing all aerospace programmes, covering transport, mission and training aircraft, as well as fighter aircraft, and represented France on the international steering committee of the A400M programme. She expedited delivery of aircraft for the Government Aircraft Programme and supervised the MRTT multirole aircraft, ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft, Transall Gabriel reconnaissance aircraft, AWACS and Hawkeye command aircraft, Mirage 2000 and modernised Super Etendard (SEM) aircraft programmes, as well as civil aviation agreements.
From 2011 to 2014, she headed up the unit managing Space and Operational Information Systems, leading a team of 450 people and armaments and preliminary design operations relative to information superiority, intelligence-gathering space sensors, and telecommunications and command systems (SIA, DESCARTES, CONTACT, SYRACUSE 4, SCCOA, MUSIS, CERES).
On 1 December 2014, Caroline Laurent was appointed Director of Strategy at DGA and promoted to the rank of senior armaments engineer (IGHCA). In this capacity, she was in charge of military research and innovation, industrial strategy and support to SMEs, the preparatory phases of armaments programmes and the establishment of European cooperation initiatives (Germany, UK, Italy). She also represented DGA on multilateral bodies (NATO, European Commission, EDA).
Caroline Laurent joined CNES on 1 July 2019 and was appointed Director of Orbital Systems (DSO), effective 1 September 2019.