France: The Council of the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that Jean-Jacques Dordain will continue as the Director General (DG) of ESA for next four years. On the other hand, it has elected David Williams, Acting Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency as Chairman of the ESA Council. He will take over from Maurici Lucena of Spain.
Dordain has served as DG of ESA since 2003. In July 2006, ESA’s Council renewed Dordain’s mandate to July 1, 2011. This third mandate extends his term to June 2015.
Dordain’s tenure at ESA includes many important European space milestones which include:
– The first Framework Agreement between ESA and the European Community in 2003,
– The historic landing of ESA’s Huygens probe on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon in January 2005,
– The launch of Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative in December 2005,
– The launch of GIOVE-A first test satellite of the first flagship, the Galileo satellite navigation system,
– The launch of ESA’s Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station, with two ESA astronauts in early 2008,
– The launch of SMOS to study soil moisture and ocean salinity in November 2009,
The UK Space Agency was launched on 1 April, replacing the British National Space Centre (BNSC), where Dr Williams served as Director General from May 2006. In taking up his post at the BNSC, he also became Head of the UK Delegation to ESA.
Before his appointment as Director General of BNSC, David Williams spent 10 years as Head of Strategy and International Relations with Eumetsat. His earlier experience includes previous work in the UK with the BNSC, the Natural Environment Research Council, industry and academia.