I was born on January 11, 1951, in Casablanca, Morocco, were I studied in High School and Junior College (Lycée Lyautey, Classes préparatoires). I moved to France in August 1971.
I am the spouse of Janette Cardoso and the father of Yassir, Faris and Aïda Ghallab

Positions and duties

  1. INRIA Executive Officer for Research and Technology, January 2007 to Aug. 2010
    INRIA is a French public research institute in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. It has eight research centers that host about 4000 scientists and PhD students and staff, within 200 research groups, in partnership with universities and other research organizations. It pursues scientific and technical research in five areas: (i) Applied Mathematics, Computation and Simulation; (ii) Algorithmic, Programming, Software and Architecture;  (iii) Networks, Systems and Services, Distributed Computing; (iv) Computer vision, Perception, Cognition, Interaction and Robotics; and (v) Computational Life Sciences & Computational Environment Sciences.
    My duties at INRIA covers the Research Department, the Technology Development Department, the Transfer and Innovation Department, the European Affairs Department and the International Relations Department.

  2. Director of LAAS-CNRS, January 2003 to December 2006.
    LAAS-CNRS is a research laboratory in Information Sciences and Technologies within Toulouse University. It hosts over 600 faculty members, scientists, engineers, post-docs and PhD students, in addition to about 250 graduate students. LAAS covers four research areas : (i) Micro and nano systems; (ii) Modeling, optimization and control of dynamic systems; (iii) Critical informatics systems; and (iv) Robots and autonomous systems.

  3. Head of the Robotics and AI Group at LAAS, January 1995 to April 2000
    This group had about 20 faculty members and permanents scientists and over 30 PhD students and post-docs.

  4. Director of the French Robea Program, April 2001 to April 2006
    Robea run a national Interdisciplinary Research Program in Robotics during five years. It supported 33 research projects funded by CNRS, the French Ministry of Research with the participation of INRIA and ONERA and other scientific institutes. Over 100 academic laboratories contributed to the program.

  5. Director of the French AI Program (GDR-PRC IA) from 1990 to 1993
    This network set by the French Ministry of research coordinated and funded about 30 laboratories.


  1. Directeur de recherche at CNRS, since September 2011

  2. Visiting Professor on sabbatical at UC Berkeley, CITRIS, Sep. 2010 - Aug. 2011

  3. Directeur de recherche at INRIA, January 2007 - Aug. 2011

  4. Directeur de recherche at CNRS, from 1989 to 2006

  5. Chargé de recherche at CNRS, from 1981 to1989

  6. Attaché de recherche at CNRS, from 1979 to 1981

  7. Research associate on a post-doc position at UC Berkeley, EECS department, July 1978 - November 1979.

  8. PhD student at LAAS-CNRS, from 1974 to June 1978


  1. Graduated from the National Aeronautics and Space Engineering School, June 1974

  2. Master’s degree from SupAéro, June 1975

  3. Docteur ès sciences, Doctorat d'Etat , University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, October 1982

Teaching and PhD advising

  1. I advised 29 PhD thesis (see list of former students here)

  2. I taught Robotics and AI graduate courses at Toulouse and other universities, e.g., Ecole doctorale Systèmes, Ecole doctorale Informatique et Télécom, DEA d'AIITS, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications à Paris.

  3. I lectured at various summer schools, e.g., Europeen Summer school on Logics, Languages and Informatics ESSLLI’04, International Summer School on Planning, 2000; Europeen Summer school on AI 95.

  4. I taught at Shinghua University, Beijing in 1986

Industrial involvement and transfer activities

  1. I co-founded of a startup company Kineo in 2000 in path planning technologies for CAD/CAM. This successful company sells planning software embedded within several CAD/CAM platforms, including Catia.

  2. I contributed to the founding and organization of the “competitiveness cluster on Aeronautics, Space and Embedded Systems”, this cluster organizes about 500 companies involved; I served in its Executive Committee.

  3. I participated to about 20 industrial development and transfer projects with, for example, the following companies, EDF, Alstom, Ingénia, EADS, Intelligent Applications Ltd, Sollac

Main invited talks

  1. ECAI, European Conference on AI, Anniversary Session, Montpellier, Aug. 2012

  2. CARI, African Informatics Conference, Rabat, October 2008,

  3. AFIA, French AI society conference, Grenoble, July 2007

  4. MCSEAI, Maghrebian Conference on Software Engineering and AI, Agadir, November 2006

  5. Informatics’2004 and KI‘2004: German Informatics Conference, Ulm, September 2004

  6. ICAPS Int. Conf. on Automated Planning and Scheduling, Trento, Aug. 2003

  7. NASA Conference on Planning and Scheduling, Houston, Oct. 2002

  8. 6th Maghrebian Conference on Software Engineering and AI, Fes, november 2000

  9. 7th KR International Conference on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, Breckenridge, Colorado, avril 2000

  10. IJCAI Workshop on Planning and Scheduling, Stockholm, août 1999

  11. 6th AIIA, Italian National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Padoue, sept. 98

  12. JIOSC'97, Orsay International symposium on Cognitive Science, Orsay, déc. 1997

  13. National symposium on Robotics, Toulouse, septembre 1997

  14. 4th ECP, European Conference on AI Planning, Toulouse, septembre 97

  15. Symposium de l'institut ISIS, Linkoping University, avril 96

  16. JETAI, European advanced Informtics Syposium, Pavie, mars 96

  17. 10th AISB, AI and Simulation of Behavior, Keynote lecture, Shefield, avril 1995

  18. 14th  International Conference on AI, Keynote lecture, Paris, juin 1994

  19. 10th Brazilian Conference on AI, Keynote lecture, Porto Allegre, Brésil, oct. 1993

  20. Conference au Forum des recherches en Informatique, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris 1993

  21. 12th British Computer Society Conference on Expert Systems, Keynote lecture, Cambridge, 1992

  22. 3rd ISAIRAS, International Symposium on AI, Robotics and Automation in Space Keynote lecture, Toulouse, 1992

  23. 8ème RFIA, Congrès Reconnaissance de formes et IA, Keynote lecture, Paris 1991

  24. IEEE- AI'87 Symposium, Keynote lecture, Mai 88, Hitachi City, Japon

Main editorial activities and technical societies

  1. Artificial Intelligence Journal : associate editor, from 2004 to 2007

  2. Revue d'Intelligence Artificielle : co-chief editor, from 1985 to 1993

  3. Robotics Review

  4. International Journal of Knowledge Engineering and Neural Networks

  5. Founding Chair of ASTI, the French Informatics Society (Association Française des Sciences et Technologies de l'Information), from 98 to July 2001: this technical society is a federation of about fifty specialized societies, including AFIA

  6. Chair of the International Council for Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS Council), 2004 to 2006: this council manages the ICPAS conferences and other summer schools, competitions and activities in automated planning.

Main contributions to conference program committees

  1. 18th ECAI'2008 (European Conf. on AI), General Program Chair

  2. 17th ECAI'2006, Area chair

  3. 16th ICAPS’06 (Int. Conf. on Automated Planning and Scheduling)

  4. 15th ICAPS’05 (Int. Conf. on Automated Planning and Scheduling)

  5. 14th ICAPS’04 (Int. Conf. on Automated Planning and Scheduling)

  6. 13th ICAPS’03 (Int. Conf. on Automated Planning and Scheduling)

  7. 6th AIPS'2002 (Int. Conf. on AI Planning and Scheduling), Programme Co-Chair

  8. 6th ECP'2001 (European Conf. on Planning)

  9. 5th AIPS'2000 (Int. Conf. on AI planning systems)

  10. 14th ECAI'2000 (European Conf. on AI)

  11. 5th ECP'99 (European Conf. Planning)

  12. 16th  IJCAI'99 (International Joint Conference on AI), area chair

  13. 14th  AAAI'98 (American Conference on AI)

  14. 11th  RFIA'98 (Congres Reconnaissance des formes et IA)

  15. 4th  AIPS'98 (Int. Conf. on AI planning systems)

  16. 6th  KR'98 (Int. conf.  Principles of Knowledge representation and reasoning)

  17. 5th  TIME'98 (Int. workshop on Temporal representation and reasoning)

  18. 10th  SEKE'98 (Int. Conf on Software and Knowledge engineering)

  19. 13th ECAI'98 (European Conf. on AI)

  20. 4th  ECP'97 (European Conf. Planning)

  21. 13th AAAI'96 (American Conference on AI)

  22. 4th AIPS'96 (International Conference on AI Planning Systems

  23. 10ème RFIA'96 (Congrès Reconnaissance des Formes et Intelligence Artificielle), Program Chair,

  24. 3rd ECP'95 (European Conference on Planning), Program Chair

  25. 11th ECAI'94 (European Conference on Artificial Intelligence)

  26. 2nd ECP'93 (European Workshop on AI Planning)

  27. International Conference on AI in Engineering (AIENG 1993 et 1994)

  28. IEEE - Artificial Intelligence Symposium (Mai 88, Hitachi City, Japon)

  29. Journées Internationales d'Avignon sur les Systèmes Experts (depuis 1987)

  30. RFIA, Congrès Reconnaissance de Formes et Intelligence Artificielle, nov.87, nov. 89, avril 92, janv. 94

  31. Journées Nationales du PRC Intelligence Artificielle : en 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993

  32. International Symposium of Robotics Research, Oct. 84

Counsulting and Advising

  1. Scientific Advisory Board of the DFKI, since 2009

  2. Scientific Board of the Bruno Kessler Fondation, IRST, Trento, since 2009

  3. Scientific Board of ONERA, since 2005

  4. Scientific Board of CEMAGREF, 2008-2011

  5. Governing board of INRIA, from 2001 to 2006

  6. Scientific council of Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, from 2003 to 2006

  7. Research council of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (ENSAE), since 2003

  8. Board of the Wallenberg Laboratory for research on Information Technology and Autonomous Systems, Linköping, University, from 1996 to 2005

  9. Chair of Scientific committees and/or Evaluation committees of various laboratories, e.g., LAB, Besançon, LASMEA, Clermont-Ferrand, LIRMM, Montpellier, LIM, Marseille, LAMI, Evry, LIPN, Paris.

  10. Scientific advisor of Usinor, Département informatique avancée (from 1989 to 1998), of CNET from 1995 to 1997.

  11. Member the Observatoire National de la Recherche Fondamentale en Informatique from 1992 to 1994.


  1. ECCAI Fellow

  2. Docteur Honoris Causa, Linköping University, Sweden

  3. Founding member of the Royal Academy of Science and Technology of Morocco

  4. Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur

Detailed CV here (English or French)