The Italian Simonetta Cheli has been appointed as Director of the Esa-Esrin center in Frascati and of the Directorate of Earth Observation Programs of the European Space Agency. Cheli, who will take office on 1 January 2022, takes over from Josef Aschbacher who has become General Manager of ESA. For three decades Simonetta Cheli has been working at the European Space Agency where she held various roles within the Direction of Earth Observation Programs, including Head of the Strategy, Program and Coordination Office, Coordination Office Manager and Public Relations Office Manager and Institutional. Cheli studied Law and Economics at Yale University before majoring in Political Science with specialization in International Law at the “Cesare Alfieri” University of Florence, Italy. Cheli holds a Dea-Diploma of Advanced Studies from the Center d’Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques (Ceds) in Paris.
“Congratulations to Simonetta Cheli for this prestigious appointment and the most sincere wishes for a good job by ASI and the Italian space community ” commented the president of the Italian Space Agency, Giorgio Saccoccia. “His appointment – he adds – is all the more relevant because the Esrin center is not only based in the national territory but also manages a sector, such as that of Earth Observation, which has always been considered strategic by Italy and very important for the future of our planet. “. An important result according to Saccoccia “for the Italian representation in international institutions which also testifies to the excellent teamwork that is carried out by the Government in synergy with the Italian Space Agency for the growth of this sector, which is strategic for our country “.