[Via Satellite 07-01-2015] Johann-Dietrich Woerner has begun his new role as director general of the European Space Agency (ESA), which is headquartered in Paris, France. The ESA Council unanimously appointed Woerner in December 2014 for a period of four years.
Previously, he was chairman of the executive board of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), from March 2007 to June 2015. Woerner succeeds Jean-Jacques Dordain, whose term of office ended on June 30. Dordain is ESA’s longest-serving director general, who led the agency since July 2003.
At the DLR, Pascale Ehrenfreund, research professor of space policy and international affairs at the Space Policy Institute in Washington D.C., was appointed to succeed Woerner as the new chair of its executive board. A doctorate-level astrobiologist, she has been a professor of space policy and international affairs at the Space Policy Institute since 2008.