Paul Verhoef is the Director of Navigation (D/NAV).
Paul Verhoef has a Masters degree in electrical engineering from Eindhoven Technical University. During his studies, he spent a year working for Philips Electrical Industries in New Zealand. In his earlier career, he worked for the United Nations in the South Pacific, based in Suva, Fiji, where, among other things, he supervised the installation of the first satellite Earth station in Papua New Guinea used for international communications links.
In the late 1980s, he worked as ground segment engineer at Eutelsat in Paris on the procurement of the ground segment for the Eutelsat-II satellites. Following that, he set up the Olympus Payload Utilisation Secretariat within ESA’s Telecommunications Department at ESTEC in Noordwijk, from where the coordination of new communications experiments with the Olympus payloads was undertaken.
Since the early 1990s, Paul Verhoef has worked for the European Commission, starting with responsibility for satellite communications policy in the telecommunications policy Directorate, and subsequently with a variety of policy functions in the areas of space, telecommunications, electronic commerce and internet.
He represented the Commission in the G8 Digital Opportunities Task Force (DOT Force), and coordinated the EU position in the first World Summit on the Information Society in 2003. He was seconded for a year and a half as Vice President to ICANN, the non-profit organisation overseeing development and technical coordination of the internet domain names and numbering policies.
From 2005 to 2011, Paul Verhoef was the European Commission's programme manager for the EU Galileo and EGNOS satellite navigation programmes and was responsible for setting up the implementation of the programmes in close cooperation with ESA.
Before taking on his responsibility as ESA Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities in February 2016 (the title of the directorate changed in 2017 to Directorate of Navigation), Paul Verhoef set up a new Research and Innovation team in DG Transport and Mobility (MOVE) of the European Commission and was most recently Head of Unit for ‘Renewable energy sources’ in DG Research and Innovation (RTD).