Empowering all Women, in Space and on Earth

WIA-E News and Leadership Changes

Dear WIA-Europe members,

Since the foundation of WIA-Europe by myself and Claudia Kessler in
2009, the association has developed in a remarkably successful manner
and has today positioned itself as a benchmark organisation for the
promotion of equal opportunities for women in the aerospace sector in
Europe and beyond.
Today, WIA-Europe counts more than 500 individual members with an
increase of more than 20% during the last year.
In 2015 we welcomed Thales Alenia Space as corporate member at
platinum level and the Graduate School of Engineering of Mines
Albi-Carmaux as non-profit member, and this year we are proud to
welcome the Italian Space Agency ASI as corporate member at Gold
level, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency as
Bronze member and the Lockheed Martin Corporation as the first
non-European organisation as Silver member. Furthermore, the European
Space Agency has increased their membership status from silver to gold
and OHB from bronze to silver. With the International
Telecommunication Union ITU joining us in June 2016 the total number
of corporate members grew to 21. With ESA, CNES, ASI and DLR we have
the 4 most prominent space agencies in Europe on board, and with
Airbus, Thales Alenia Space, SES, OHB and Lockheed Martin Corporation
also the major space industry players.
We have also signed important cooperation agreements with the
International Space University (ISU) and the International
Astronautical Federation (IAF) creating important ties to these space
advocacy and educational organisations which act on a global scale.
WIA-Europe has also expanded its presence at focal locations in Europe
by creating new local groups in Geneva and Vienna, bringing the total
number of local groups to 10.
Since our last General Assembly meeting in June last year, WIA-Europe
has organised numerous global, as well as regional events. We have
held WIA-Europe Breakfasts – our flagship events – at the
International Astronautical Congress in Jerusalem in October 2015 with
a record participation of more than 250 people, at the IAF Spring
Meeting in Paris in March 2016, at the Space Innovation Congress in
London in April 2016 and at the Global Conference on Space and the
Information Society GLIS 2016 in Geneva in June. The regular
participation of top-level officials from space agencies and industry
as keynote speakers in these WIA-Europe events has become a standard.
In addition, our local groups have organised an incredible number of
outstanding events of different kind, from networking gatherings to
prominent panel discussions such as during this year’s Berlin Airshow
ILA. All these events have significantly contributed to increased
awareness of WIA-Europe and helped attract more and more individual
and corporate members.

Let me take the opportunity to inform you all about a decision I took
very recently, which was presented to the General Aseembly on June
24th. My term as President of WIA Europe was due to expire and I had
to decide whether to stay for my last term. After thorough
consideration I have taken the decision to step down from the position
of WIA-E’s President. I am proud that during my seven years of
Presidency we have achieved outstanding results and put our
association on a stable path for the future. It’s time therefore for
the association to move to the second phase, now that it is stable and
strategically well positioned. I felt this was the right time to
leave. I would like to thank all of you, individual members,
representatives of corporate members and local group leaders for your
contribution and your trust, and I would like to express my sincere
thanks to my friend and colleague Claudia Kessler, Chair of the Board,
with whom we jointly founded the organization more 7 years ago and
have led WIA-Europe all these years, and all Board members for their
support and excellent work.

Let me also inform you that Claudia Kessler has been appointed  as the
new WIA-Europe President and Luisella Giulucchi as new Chair of the
WIA-Europe Board of Directors. Barbara Imhof will be taking over the
Treasurer position.
Moreover, Christiane Lechtenboerger from DLR has been elected as
Director of International and Institutional Relations and Annamaria
Nassisi from Thales Alenia Space was elected as Director of

For more information on the board members please have a look at the

I’m also happy to inform you that, while I’ll remain co-founder of WIA
Europe for ever, I accepted to be appointed as WIA Europe Honorary
President. This will allow me to continue my advocacy for a balanced
representation in the aerospace sector in Europe and worldwide.

Thank you!
Simonetta Di Pippo

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