Global Space Leaders


The Karman Project has announced the 15 global space leaders selected for the 2023 edition of the highly competitive Karman Fellowship program.

The Karman Fellowship is the flagship program of the non-profit foundation, which promotes cooperation through action. It works with leaders who are considered to be shaping the future of the space sector, having been recognised for their outstanding accomplishments in space and their motivation to increase their impact for the betterment of the space sector and beyond.

The 15 Fellows of 2023 represent 12 nationalities and six continents, and join a growing network of influential Karman Alumni – including 45 Fellows and over 100 top-shortlisted ‘Karman Pioneers’ from previous promotions – coming from the startup, cultural, venture capital, research, space agency and industry sectors alike. “These are the people shaping the technologies and roadmaps for exploration, education, medicine, climate policy and other time-critical topics for humanity,” said Hannah Ashford, Managing Director of The Karman Project. “How they do it matters.”

Whether it is setting effective policies to leverage space technologies to impact the everyday lives of citizens on Earth or ensuring peaceful activities on the Moon (Joan Chesoni of the Kenya Space Agency; Jacob Malthouse of the Open Lunar Foundation); providing enabling technologies to space companies, universities, scientists and governments throughout the Asia Pacific (Mani Thiru, Head of Space & Satellite Solutions at Amazon Web Services); defining the future of human spaceflight (Jenni Sidey-Gibbons, Astronaut at the Canadian Space Agency; Barret Schlegelmilch, New Shepard Astronaut Office at Blue Origin) or more, the 2023 Karman Fellows are already creating immeasurable impact in their respective fields, and are looking to leverage the Karman Fellowship to increase that impact for the benefit of humanity.

The Fellows were selected from over 300 carefully considered candidates from around the world, 50 of whom were presented to the Karman Selection Board for the final decision. The 2023 Selection Board convened virtually on 22nd April 2023 and was curated to consist of 36 highly respected and accomplished professionals, who likewise represent a fine intersection of disciplines, industries and cultures. For the fourth year in a row, the Board was chaired by Mr. Jean-Jacques Dordain, former Director General of the European Space Agency. The list of Selection Board Members was announced via LinkedIn on 21st April 2023 and is accessible here.

The selected Karman Fellows will participate in a program that is designed around three key pillars – Leadership, Dialogue and Action – and will be invited to meet with global leaders, strengthen their relationships with one another and engage in strategic discussions regarding the future of space.

The Fellows traverse global issues informed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that space technologies can contribute to solving, together with challenges that exist within the space sector. As a ‘space-for-impact’ foundation, the Karman Project supports the Fellows in addressing six key Impact Themes: Sustainability, Education, Empowerment, Cooperation, Science and Inspiration.

The Fellows will have the opportunity to partake in various in-person activities throughout the year, including the annual invite-only Karman Gala Dinner and the Karman Fellowship Week, which is an immersive, interactive and highly unique four-day program in which the leaders are placed within direct proximity of the issues that the space community is collectively working to solve. More details will be released to the public shortly.

The Karman Project additionally continues to build a strong network of global partners and sponsors who are equally dedicated to supporting the Karman Fellows and wider community. Partnership activities will commence in July 2023, with The Karman Project set to co-host the third edition of the Smart Space MBA Elective at the University of Oxford, pursuant to their partnership with the University of Oxford’s Space Initiative that was announced in November 2021.

The profiles of the 2023 Karman Fellows and the Selection Board Members will be made available via the Karman Project website in late May 2023.


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