WASHINGTON — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Feb. 27 the selection of Sylvain Laporte as the next president of the Canadian Space Agency, effective March 9.

Laporte had served as the commissioner of patents and registrar of trade-marks for Industry Canada since 2011, and previously held several positions within Industry Canada, Canada Post Corp. and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Luc Brûlé has been acting president of the space agency since the departure of Walter Natynczyk in November.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...