World Renowned Astronaut & Former Commander of the International Space Station
Through his 21-years as an astronaut, three spaceflights, and 2600 orbits of Earth, Colonel Hadfield has become a worldwide sensation, harnessing the power of social media to make outer space accessible to millions and infusing a sense of wonder into our collective consciousness not felt since humanity first walked on the Moon. Called “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong,” Colonel Hadfield continues to bring the marvels of science and space travel to everyone he encounters.
Colonel Hadfield is a pioneer of many historic “firsts”. In 1992, he was selected by the Canadian Space Agency as a NASA Mission Specialist—Canada’s first fully-qualified Space Shuttle crew member. Three years later, aboard Shuttle Atlantis, he was the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in space, and the first Canadian to board a Russian spacecraft as he helped build space station “Mir.” In 2001, aboard Shuttle Endeavour, Colonel Hadfield performed two spacewalks—the first Canadian to do so—and, in 2013, he was Commander of the International Space Station—the first and only Canadian to ever command a spaceship—so far.
During his multi-faceted career, Colonel Hadfield has intercepted Soviet bombers in Canadian airspace, lived on the ocean floor, been NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia, and recorded science and music videos seen by hundreds of millions.
A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Colonel Hadfield’s many awards include receiving the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and has been inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.
Colonel Hadfield is the author of three internationally bestselling books, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, You Are Here, and his children’s book, The Darkest Dark. Additionally, he released his musical album, Space Sessions: Songs From A Tin Can, in 2015.
He has been commemorated on Canadian postage stamps, Royal Canadian Mint coins, and on Canada’s newest five dollar bill (along with fellow astronauts Steve MacLean and Dave Williams).
- Collaboration and getting the best out of teams
- Managing complexity and change
- The Sky Is Not The Limit: inspiration in success
- Extreme leadership
Commanding a spaceship takes superb leadership. The vehicle is complex, the team is international, the crew is on its own and the stakes are the very highest – huge financial consequence, and perpetual life or death.
Through 25 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force and 21 years with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA, Chris has developed and honed leadership and teamwork practices that have taken him to the very top.
With discussions of objective, preparation, simulation and focused execution, Chris takes the audience through several interactive scenarios, developing ideas that are then reinforced with memorable examples from fighter test flying and spaceflight.