Prof. Johann-Dietrich Wörner
Director General, European Space Agency (ESA)
Prof. Johann-Dietrich Wörner became the European Space Agency (ESA) Director General in 2015. Previously, from 2007 to 2015, he served as Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). From 1995 to 2007 he was President of TU Darmstadt and succeeded in making it the first autonomous university of the Federal Republic of Germany. Before joining ESA as Director General, he was head of the German delegation to ESA from 2007 to 2015 and served as Chairman of the ESA Council from 2012 to 2014. Woerner has received honorary doctorates from New York State University at Buffalo (USA), technical universities of Bucharest (Romania) and Mongolia, the Saint Petersburg University for Economics and Finance (Russia) and École Centrale de Lyon (France). He has also been awarded the honours of Knight of the French Légion d’Honneur.
As ESA Director General, Prof. Wörner heads one of the world’s leading space organizations. ESA is contributing to the current global effort to explore the solar system via important projects like ExoMars and Rosetta/Philae. ESA is also in cooperation with projects at other space agencies worldwide like the James Webb Space Telescope.
The National Space Society recognizes Prof. Wörner’s great success in leadership, both in academia and in government, and his excellence in mediation. He is now using both skills to support the space community and expedite its goals.
As head of ESA, he is promoting the “Moon village” concept, a vision for global cooperation beyond the International Space Station era. This would be a great asset to an integrated human space program. His support of public-private partnerships as part of the “Space 4.0 approach” aligns with the NSS vision and is supported by NSS.