Pascale Ehrenfreund, currently Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs at the Space Policy Institute in Washington, is the new Chair of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). This was decided unanimously in Berlin today by the DLR Senate, which was chaired by the State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie; BMWi), Matthias Machnig, in Berlin. Pascale Ehrenfreund will succeed Johann-Dietrich Wörner, who has been Chairman of the DLR Executive Board for eight years – since March 2007. From 1 July, he will take office as Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA).

“As an astrobiologist with extensive scientific experience and an excellent reputation in teaching and research, at, among other places, Paris, Vienna, Leiden and Washington, Pascale Ehrenfreund is particularly well qualified to provide new impetus in research and development to a major research facility such as DLR. And of course, I am particularly pleased that, with Ehrenfreund’s appointment, a woman will head the largest German engineering research facility for the first time. The decision was unanimous in both the Appointment Committee and the Senate. I would also like to thank the outgoing Chairman, Johann-Dietrich Wörner, for the work he has done at DLR and wish him the best of luck in undertaking his new tasks as ESA Director General,” said Machnig.

“The Senate chose Pascale Ehrenfreund based on her high profile as an internationally recognised scientist and an experienced manager,” said Wörner about the selection. He is looking forward to welcoming Ehrenfreund in her new role as head of the German delegation at ESA.