Dr. Minoo Rathnasabapathy featured as VP for International Astronautical Federation




Vice President: International Astronautical Federation

Dr. Minoo Rathnasabapathy serves as the Vice President at the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), overseeing the Education and Workforce Development. Since her appointment in 2018, Dr Rathnasabapathy has created more activities, workshops and programmes in order to encourage and prepare the workforce of tomorrow. This includes the IAF Launchpad Mentorship Programme, helping launch the careers of aerospace professionals around the world through one-to-one mentorship to achieve their career and professional development goals. As part of her VP role, she also chairs the Next Generation Coordination Committee, and oversees the IAF Emerging Space Leaders and Young Space Leaders Programme.

Since 2018, Dr. Rathnasabapathy has set three key priorities under her portfolio, building upon the IAF's “3G” diversity initiative – focused on geography, generation and gender. These include:

  1. Increasing membership and engagement of students and Young Professionals in IAF Technical Committees
  2. Increasing opportunities for participation of students and Young Professionals from emerging space nations
  3. Advancing career-development initiatives and highlight IAF trajectories

"By building upon existing programs, the federation is poised to take a
leadership role in increasing career-development initiatives to not only attract the next generation of space professionals, but importantly, ensure their retention in our industry, and
the IAF in the long-term."

As a Vice President at the IAF, Dr. Rathnasabapathy believes that is is necessary to build the leadership pipeline by engaging the next generation of space professionals to
support the sustainability and scalability of the IAF.

Dr. Minoo Rathnasabapathy is a Research Engineer within the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab. In this role, she helps coordinate projects in collaboration with international development organizations, national governments and entrepreneurial companies to apply space technology in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. She also leads efforts in writing proposals, communicating the team’s work through writing and speaking, as well as and mentoring students. She also leads efforts in establishing the Space Sustainability Rating (SSR) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the European Space Agency.

Previously, Dr. Rathnasabapathy served as the Executive Director of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), a global non-governmental organization which acts in support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, based in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Rathnasabapathy was responsible for leading the operations, business development, strategy, and policy output for SGAC, a network that represents over 10,000 university students and young professionals in 110+ countries. 

Dr. Rathnasabapathy earned her Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering from RMIT University, researching the impact dynamics of novel materials used in aerospace structures. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Space Technology and the Generation-Next Advisory Board for Via Satellite. 

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