Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Johann-Dietrich Woerner Becomes New ESA Director General

Johann-Dietrich Woerner in front of the ESA Pavilion, at Paris Air and Space Show, on 15 June 2015. Credit: ESA–S. Corvaja, 2015

As of today, July 1, 2015, ESA has a new Director General: Johann-Dietrich Woerner, who has taken up duty at ESA Headquarters in Paris, France. “I am in the favorable position to nurture the seeds of Jean-Jacques Dordain’s work,” Woerner said during a recent media briefing at the Paris Air Show, expressing his thanks to the parting Director General. He called for the continuation of ESA’s ongoing programs, projects and missions in cooperation with Member States, as well as preparing for ESA’s future, among the many important tasks he has to fulfill.

Referring to this future as ‘Space 4.0’, Woerner considers that ESA has already started to enter this new phase, in which space has become a day-to-day business and in which interaction with society, the commercialization of space, resulting new roles for industry and a fostered, cooperative relation with the European Commission all play important roles. 

The ESA Council unanimously appointed Woerner on Dec. 18 2014 for a period of four years. Previously, he was Chief of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), from March 2007 to June 2015. Originally from Kassel, Germany, Woerner is married and has three children. 

He succeeds Jean-Jacques Dordain, whose term of office ended on June 30. Dordain is ESA’s longest-serving Director General, who led the Agency from July 2003 and who looks back on numerous outstanding achievements. 

Credit: ESA

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