Born in 1957, Michèle Rousseau headed the Environment Division of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Regional Directorate for Industry, Research and the Environment (DRIRE) from 1983 to 1987. She then went on to direct the fibres and waste division of the Ministry of the Environment's Directorate for water and pollution and risk prevention.
From 1990 to 1995, she was the deputy director for professional electronics and industrial IT with the Ministry for Industry. From 1995 to 1998, she took the post of deputy director of the Nuclear Installations Safety Directorate for the Ministries of the Environment and Industry, before joining the French Research and Innovation Agency, ANVAR, as deputy director.
Subsequently, from 2001 to 2005, she became the director for gas, electricity and coal with the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry, then director for energy demand and markets. She was the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development from 2005 to 2007, then director and deputy commissioner-general for sustainable development from 2008 to 2011. She worked from 2011 to 2015 as the Executive Director of the Seine-Normandy Water Agency.
Since 2016, she has been a member of the General Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CGEDD), under which she chaired the Government Authority for the Hauts-de-France Region. She was appointed to the BRGM Board of Directors on 20 February 2016, then to the BRGM presidency on 22 March this year.