Recruitment and assignment of Directors at ESA

Members states and ESA flag
16 April 2008

ESA PR 23-2008. Meeting in restricted session yesterday at ESA’s Head Office in Paris, the Council of the European Space Agency appointed the new Directors that will assist the Director General in the coming years, following a process of selection that started in November 2007.

Five positions were opened at that time:

  • Director of Legal affairs and External Relations (D/LEX)
  • Director of Human Spaceflight (D/HSF)
  • Director of Science and Robotic Exploration (D/SRE)
  • Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications (D/TIA)
  • Director of the Galileo Programme and navigation related activities (D/GAL)

Except for D/LEX, which is a position already well established within ESA, the other Directorates are the result of an organisational change triggered by ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and endorsed by ESA’s main governing body, the Council.

The Directorate of Human Spaceflight is devoted to exploiting the International Space Station and to shaping the future of the European contribution to human exploration.

The Directorate of Science and Robotic Exploration is devoted to the mandatory scientific programme and to the part of exploration dedicated to robotic exploration.

The Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications reflects the major increase in communication activities in today’s world and tomorrow’s new perspectives opened by PPPs between ESA, industry and operators. It also reflects the growth potential for integrated applications in fields such as security, health, energy and development.

The Galileo Directorate is devoted to the implementation of the Galileo Programme for the European Commission and to other related satellite navigation activities. The Directorate is set up to cope with the wide changes that have taken place in this programme concerning the deployment of the Galileo system and its complete infrastructure, and the system level responsibility and industrial prime role that ESA will take on under an Agreement with the European Commission.

The ESA Council has therefore taken the following decisions:

  • Appoint Peter Hulsroj D/LEX for a term of four years. Mr Hulsroj is currently Legal Advisor at CTBTO (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization) in Vienna.
  • Appoint Simona di Pippo D/HSF for a term of four years. Ms di Pippo is currently Director of Observation of the Universe at the Italian Space Agency (ASI).
  • Appoint David Southwood D/SRE until 30 April 2011. Mr Southwood is ESA’s current Director of Scientific programmes.
  • Appoint Magali Vaissière D/TIA for a four year term. Ms Vaissière is currently ESA’s Head of Telecommunication Department.
  • Appoint René Oosterlinck D/GAL until 31 December 2010. Mr Oosterlinck is currently ESA’s Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations.
  • Select Didier Faivre for appointment as D/GAL from 1 January 2011 for a term of four years. Mr Faivre is currently ESA’s Head of the Navigation Department.

“This result reinforces the team of Directors that will support me in the coming years, introduces for the first time two women in that team and ensures a right balance between internal promotion and new competences. I am convinced that the quality of this team will help take ESA to new horizons in the near future,” said ESA’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, welcoming the Council’s decision.

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