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Aarti Holla-Maini to Lead the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs

By Rachel Jewett | June 27, 2023

      Aarti Holla-Maini

      Aarti Holla-Maini will lead the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) as its director, the UN announced Monday. Holla-Maini succeeds Simonetta Di Pippo of Italy. 

      Holla-Maini lives in the United Kingdom and is a satellite expert. She was the longtime secretary general of the Global Satellite Operators Association, and has served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space and as an expert advisor on Space Traffic Management for European Union studies, in addition to a number of other roles. Most recently Holla-Maini was the executive vice-president of Sustainability, Policy & Impact at NorthStar Earth & Space. 

      UNOOSA works to promote international cooperation in the peaceful use and exploration of space. The office also helps developing countries leverage space and helps countries understand international space law.   

      “It is a pleasure to have been selected to lead UNOOSA at an unprecedented period for development and commercialization of the space environment. I look forward to focusing on the necessity to protect space for all actors and utilize its help to address the SDGs [sustainable development goals],” Holla-Maini said in a LinkedIn post.

      Satellite Industry Association President Tom Stroup applauded the appointment. “As the former Secretary-General of GSOA, she was a strong and longtime advocate of the global satellite industry and she worked tirelessly to provide a platform for collaboration between the diverse commercial companies within the association. SIA looks forward to working with her and UNOOSA as the commercial satellite industry continues to grow at an unprecedented pace both here in the U.S. and around the world,” Stroup said in a statement.

      Holla-Maini appeared on Via Satellite’s On Orbit podcast in January 2022. Listen to the episode here.