Seraphim appoints former ESA director general

10 June 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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Seraphim Capital, the space-sector investment group, has appointed the former director general of the European Space Agency (ESA) as a senior advisor and member of its advisory board.

Jan Wörner will join the board to support Seraphim during a critical time in the satellite industry, as it looks to engage with the "most fearless entrepreneurs".

Announcing the appointment, Seraphim Capital CEO Mark Boggett, said: "We are thrilled to have Jan Woerner joining the team for the next important leg of our journey.

"The importance of the space sector to all our futures has never been greater. Satellites have a critical role to play in addressing some of the biggest challenges of our times whilst also being a platform for driving societal change through autonomous mobility, smart cities and IoT."

Boggett continued: "Jan will join the board to support our efforts to look into the future and deliver our mission to engage at an early stage with the sector’s most fearless entrepreneurs and support them in their quest to push back the boundaries of what is possible, helping transform our world for the better whilst capitalising on a trillion-dollar investment opportunity."

A civil engineer by trade, Wörner's previous advisory roles have included the position of chairman of the executive board of the German Aerospace Center DLR, VP of the Helmholtz Association, and chairman of the ESA council, among others.

He holds honorary doctorates from New York State University at Buffalo, technical universities of Bucharest and Mongolia, the Saint Petersburg University for Economics and Finance and École Centrale de Lyon.

He stepped down from ESA at the end of February, slightly ahead of his term ending, and is succeeded there by Josef Aschbacher, who was director of Earth Observation Programs.

Commenting on this new role, Wörner said: “I am delighted to join the Seraphim Capital’s advisory Board. As the global leader in SpaceTech investment, Seraphim endlessly explores the ecosystem to discover and invest in the companies that will shape a new economic revolution, transform the world and improve our daily lives.”

During his time at ESA, Wörner was an advocate for building lower cost and higher performance satellites for communications, earth observation, navigation and science, as well as space sustainability, including active space debris removal.