Claudia Kessler founded WIA-E as a non-profit association together with Simonetta Di Pippo in June 2009, and she acts as the organisations Honorary Chair.

Kessler has over 20 years’ experience of working in the space industry. After graduating as an aerospace engineer, she started her career as Assistant to the Board of Directors at Kayser-Threde, Munich. From 1994-1998, she worked for Kayser-Threde in Leipzig before moving to Bremen to develop the commercial utilisation of the International Space Station (ISS) as Business Development Manager at Astrium.

She joined HE Space Operations in 2004 to develop its business in Germany. After finishing an MBA in 2007, she was made Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HE Space Holding in 2008. Since then, she has been successfully managing its business in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the US. Claudia is married and has one daughter. She is a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics and a member of the Senate of the German Society for Aeronautics and Astronautics, (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt – DGLR).

Claudia has authored several scientific and technical papers and presentations. She is also active in the Space Education and Outreach Committee, the Young Professional Programme Committee of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and actively supports the future workforce development for the space sector.

Claudia’s current position is the CEO of HE Space.