Italian named to lead ESA's Earth observation programmes

Simonetta Cheli, 58, says didn't expect appoinment

21 October, 17:30

    (ANSA) - ROME, OCT 21 - An Italian, 58-year-old Simonetta Cheli, has been named new head of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Earth observation programmes.

    "I didn't expect it," she told ANSA after the ESA council announced her appointment.

    "I had prepared my application but I sincerely did not expect it, because these are complex decisions by the 22 ESA countries, which have a technical dimension of expertise but also a political dimension." Asked what had got her the job, Cheli said "being able to combine technical expertise with diplomatic abilities and international collaboration".

    Siena-born Cheli has worked for ESA for three decades.

    Her new job title is Head of Strategy, Programme and Coordination Office, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes, European Space Agency. (ANSA).

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