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Indian-origin satellite expert appointed Director, UN, Outer Space Affairs

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Indian-origin satellite industry expert Aarti Holla-Maini as Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in Vienna.

Holla-Maini of the United Kingdom will succeed Simonetta Di Pippo of Italy.

UNOOSA works to promote international cooperation in the peaceful use and exploration of space and in the utilisation of space science and technology for sustainable economic and social development.

Holla-Maini brings to this position over 25 years of professional experience in the space sector including in managerial and advocacy functions.

Most recently, she has held the role of Executive Vice-President Sustainability, Policy & Impact at NorthStar Earth & Space. Prior to that, she spent over 18 years as the Secretary-General of the Global Satellite Operators Association, a statement issued here said on Monday.

Holla-Maini’s experience includes service as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space; member of the Advisory Group of the Space Sustainability Rating managed by eSpace at the École Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) Space Center; member of the Advisory Board of the Satellite Industry Association of India; Senior Space Policy Advisor to Forum Europe and as Expert Advisor on Space Traffic Management for European Union studies 2021-2023.

She was also one of the chief architects of the Crisis Connectivity Charter established in 2015 for emergency telecommunications via satellite with the UN World Food Program’s Emergency Telecommunications Cluster.

Holla-Maini holds a bachelor’s degree in law with German law from Kings College London, UK, and a master’s degree in business administration from HEC Paris, France.

She is also an alumna of the International Space University and speaks English, French, German and Punjabi and has moderate knowledge of Dutch. PTI

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