Thierry Breton

European Commissioner for Internal Market
European Commission

Thierry Breton ran several companies and served as CEO at Bull, Thomson Multimédia and France Télécom. From 2005 to 2007, he served as French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry before joining Harvard Business School as a Professor. In 2009, he became CEO at Atos, a function he held until 2019 when he became the European Commissioner for Internal Market. His portfolio includes industry, goods and services, digital, defence, space, tourism and audio-visual topics.

Manuel Heitor

Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal

Dr Heitor is full Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and was founder and director of the IST´s “Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research,” as well as director of the IST´s doctoral Programs in “Engineering and Public Policy, EPP” and in “Engineering Design.” From March 2005 to June 2011, he served as Portugal’s Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education and in 2011-12 he was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard. Manuel Heitor is Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education in the Government of Portugal since November 2015.

Cristian Silviu Bușoi

Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)
European Parliament

Dr Buşoi entered the Romanian Parliament in 2004 and, in 2013, became President of the Romanian National Health Insurance House. Since 2007, he has been elected to the European Parliament for three consecutive terms. There, he is a Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), but also a Member of the Delegation for Southeast Asia, as well as substitute Member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and the Delegation for the Arab Peninsula.

Massimiliano Salini

Member of the European Parliament, Rapporteur
EU Space Regulation

After ten years of managerial experience, Massimiliano Salini was elected President of the Province of Cremona in 2009, and since 2014, he has been a member of the European Parliament. In his second term, he is a member of the Committee on International Trade (INTA), the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). He was recently appointed as a member of the special commission on artificial intelligence in a digital age (AIDA). Massimiliano Salini was a rapporteur for the European Parliament on the EU Space Programme.

Josef Aschbacher

Director General

Josef Aschbacher was Programme Coordinator in Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes at ESA’s HQ in Paris from 2001 to 2006, and from 2006 to 2014, he was Head of the GMES Space Office. In 2014, Mr Aschbacher was promoted to Head of Programme Planning and Coordination at ESRIN, and he was appointed as Director of Earth Observation Programmes, ESA’s largest Directorate, in 2016. Josef Aschbacher became the ESA Director General on 1 March 2021.

Florence Rabier

Director General
European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF)

Before joining European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), Dr Florence Rabier led the research and developments linked to the use of a wide range of observations in the operational models at Météo-France. She is an internationally recognized expert in Numerical Weather Prediction, well known within the meteorological community for her key role in implementing an innovative data assimilation method (4D-Var) in 1997. She also led an international experiment involving a major field campaign over Antarctica, in the context of the International Polar Year and the WMO THORPEX program. Dr Florence Rabier has been the Director General of ECMWF since January 2016.

Timo Pesonen

Director General for Defence industry and Space
European Commission

Timo Pesonen started his career in Finnish foreign affairs before joining the EU Institutions, where he held several high-level positions. Among others, he was Chief of Cabinet of EU Commissioner for EU Enlargement Olli Rehn, Director General of DG Communication from 2015 to 2019, and Director General at DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW) from 2019 to 2020. In January 2020, he became Director General of the newly created DG Defence Industry and Space.

Rodrigo da Costa

Executive Director

Rodrigo da Costa was the Galileo Services Programme Manager at the European GNSS Agency (GSA) since March 2017. Prior to joining the GSA, Mr da Costa held several senior project management, business development, and institutional key account management positions in the space industry, in the areas of human space flight, exploration, launchers and R&D. He took up his duties as Executive Director of GSA (now EUSPA) in October 2020.

Ekaterini Kavvada

Director for Innovation & Outreach, DG DEFIS
European Commission

Ekaterini Kavvada joined the European Commission in 1997 and worked initially in the Research Framework Programmes. Subsequently, as from 2000, her main service at the Commission related to space and she became Head of Unit from 2011 to 2019 at DG GROW. Her mandate continued in the realm of development and applications in the space sector as Head of Unit in the newly created DG DEFIS, until her appointment as Director for Innovation and Outreach at the same DG in December 2020.

Fiammetta Diani

Head of Market Development

Fiammetta Diani has been working at the European GNSS Agency (GSA), now EUSPA, since 2009. Before joining GSA, she worked in the private sector for more than a decade, both in the aerospace and information technology industry, with focus on market and business development of products, applications and services based on space technologies (GNSS, Earth Observation and Satellite Communications). Fiammetta Diani was appointed Head of Market Development in January 2019.

Eric Morel de Westgaver

Director of European, Legal & International Matters

Eric Morel de Westgaver joined ESA in 1987, and in 2001, he became Head of the Industrial Policy and Cost Analysis Department. He was appointed as the Head of the Procurement Department in 2004, and promoted to a Director of Procurement, Financial Operations and Legal Affairs in 2011. In addition to this responsibility, he was nominated Associate Director for Industrial Matters by the Director General in February 2010. Eric Morel de Westgaver took up duty as Director of Industry, Procurement and Legal Services in 2013, and he was appointed Head of HQ Paris in 2016.