Simonetta Di Pippo founded WIA-E as a non profit association together with Claudia Kessler in June 2009.

Di Pippo, Master degree in Astrophysics and Space Physics at the University “La Sapienza” in Rome, Italy in 1984, joined the Italian Space Agency (ASI) in 1986. Ranging responsibilities from Earth Observation to Automation & Robotics, Science and Human Spaceflight, she took up duty as Director of the Observation of the Universe in 2002.

After having served as Director of Human Spaceflight at the European Space Agency (ESA) from 2008 to 2011, she went back to ASI leading the European Space Policy Observatory at ASI – Brussels until March 2014, when she started serving as the Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs at the United Nations, in Vienna.

She co-founded Women in Aerospace Europe (WIA-E) in 2009, and lead the association in her capacity of President until 2016. WIA Europe has legal base in the Netherlands and has the main aim of expanding women representation and leadership in the aerospace sector. In 2017, she become a UN International Gender Champion, to strengthen even more her dedication to a balance gender representation. Knighted by the President of the Italian Republic in 2006, the International Astronomical Union in 2008 assigned the name “dipippo” to asteroid 21887, in recognition of her effort in space exploration.

She is author of more than 70 publications, 2 books, more than 1000 articles and interviews on magazines and newspapers, member and President of scientific committees of international congresses, member and President of scientific awards’ jury, she has been teaching at various Universities, including the George Washington University in Washington D.C., NY University in Abu Dhabi and the LUISS-Business School in Rome. From Nov. 1st, 2013 she is Visiting Scholar at CalPoly, CA. In 2018, she received the Eurisy’s Hubert Curien award, first woman ever.

In May 2013 she received an Honoris Causa Degree in Environmental Studies from the St. John University in Vinovo (TO) and in 2017 an Honoris Causa Degree as Doctor in International Relations from the John Cabot University in Rome. Since April 2013, she is member of the Global Board Ready Women, the list of potential top managers created by European Business Schools in the framework of the Women on Board initiative. From 2016 onwards, she has been member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Space Technologies. She is considered one of the most expert worldwide leaders in international cooperation in the aerospace sector.

Watch Simonetta Di Pippo’s, WIA-E Co-founder and UNOOSA Director, Testimonial video for WIA-E