The South African National Space Agency (SANSA), in its 11and year of operation announces the resignation of Dr. Valanathan Munsami from the employment of the Agency. Dr. Munsami has served as CEO for five years and has made significant strides in raising the profile and implementing ambitious programs and building partnerships critical to SANSA’s success.
He has a rich history in space science and a wealth of experience that will certainly help his next career. Dr. Munsami holds a Ph.D. in Physics, a Masters in Business Leadership, a Diploma in Space Studies Program and a Certificate in International Air, Space and Law. telecommunications. He worked at the South African Secretariat for the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, managed the implementation of a series of bilateral and multilateral science and technology agreements, participated in the development of the South Africa‘s national space strategy and national space policy, and oversaw the establishment of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA).
He led the development of South Africa’s Multi-Wavelength Astronomy Strategy and Africa’s SKA Readiness Strategy and conceptualized the model for the Pan African University Institute for Space Science.
He also chaired the African Union Space Task Force, which was tasked with developing the African Space Policy and Strategy approved in January 2016. Since January 2017, he has been appointed CEO of SANSA. He served as Vice President of the International Astronautical Federation, but currently chairs the IAF’s Administrative Committee for Developing Countries and Emerging Communities.
He also served on the South African Council for Outer Space Affairs (SACSA) for several terms. He is an Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and serves on the advisory boards of the Space Generation Advisory Council and the World Space Congress, as well as the Board of Trustees of the International Academy of Sciences. .
He has published several articles in science and policy journals and serves on Springer’s Editorial Advisory Board for the Southern Space Studies series.
He also chaired the Committee of Heads of Research and Technology Organizations (COHORT), which comprises 21 science and technology institutions in South Africa.
The Agency and the Board are saddened by the departure of Dr. Munsami as SANSA’s future is cemented through a revised strategy to fulfill a broader mandate and developments stemming from the space infrastructure cluster to benefit the growth of the space economy and the creation of skills and employment with an efficient space industry. As the process of recruiting a new CEO for SANSA continues, Ms. Andiswa Mlisa (currently Director General of Earth Observation) will hold the reins for the next six months.
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