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Valanathan Munsami
Deputy CEO
Saudi Space Agency (SSA)
Enlightening the Cosmos
Monday, March 04, 2024 14:40 - 15:10
Fireside Chat
Dr Valanathan holds a PhD in Physics, a Master of Business Leadership, a Space Studies Program Diploma, and a Certificate in International Air, Space and Telecommunications Law. He worked in South Africa’s Secretariat for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, managed the implementation of a suite of bilateral and multilateral science and technology agreements, involved in the development of South Africa’s National Space Strategy and National Space Policy, and oversaw the establishment of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). On winning the bid in 2012 to co-host the Square Kilometer Array, the biggest radio astronomy project in the world, he became the Chief Specialist for Astronomy and African Space Science. In this role, he led the development of South Africa’s Multi-Wavelength Astronomy Strategy and the SKA Readiness Strategy for Africa. He also chaired the African Union Space Working Group, which was tasked with the development of the African Space Policy and the African Space Strategy. He was the CEO of SANSA for five years, a member of the South African Council for Space Affairs and a former Vice President of the International Astronautic Federation. He is inducted as an academician of the International Academy of Astronautics and sits on the Advisory Boards of the Space Generation Advisory Council and Astrolintu. He is currently the Chancellor of the International Space University, a co-Founder of the African Space Leadership Institute, and most recently is appointed as the Deputy CEO of Saudi Space Agency.