Claudia Kessler - SSP93
One of the outstanding success stories of former ISU participants comes from Europe!
As one of the very few female students, at the time, of the aerospace and aeronautics sector Claudia Kessler participated in 1993 in ISU’s Space Studies Program. After graduating from the University of Munich, she held various positions in engineering, marketing and sales within German space companies including Kayser-Threde and Astrium, before accepting the challenge to put the company HE Space big on the Space map of Europe.
Starting from scratch ten years ago, Claudia succeeded in making HE Space Europe the number one personnel recruitment agency among the space expert companies in Europe, providing a workforce of 150 highly specialized and dedicated men and women from 26 nations to carry out programs and projects of leading space institutions DLR, ESA and companies like Astrium, OHB, Kayser-Threde, Spaceopal, IABG and Jena-Optronik. Thanks to her successful business approach, HE Space Founder Scott Millican asked Claudia Kessler in 2008 to become the CEO of HE Space. Of course she said “Yes”.
Headquartered in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, HE Space employs today staff working in Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the UK. In addition, Claudia is also president of the HE Space Holding, Texas, U.S.A.
Apart from her business success, what makes Claudia special is her restless engagement in promoting students and young professionals, especially women. In this respect, Claudia is co-founder of Women in Aerospace Europe (www.wia-europe.org), an organisation that has grown to more than 300 members in only 5 years.
In her role as vice-president of the German Association of Aerospace and Aeronautics (DGLR) she is responsible for the provision of special information and exchange networks to help young people find their professional perspectives and help to make them come true. One out of many tools in this context is Europe´s largest job portal „skyfuture.de“ as well as programs to help teachers introducing the fascination of space and aerospace technologies to their pupils and students.
At an international level, Claudia is an active member of the „Committee for the young professional programme” of the International Astronautical Federation (iaf.org) with special focus on the promotion of female space experts. And, last but not least, she directs the activities of the HE Space Children´s Foundation building schools, hiring teachers and organizing learning materials for children in countries like Brazil, Burundi, Ghana, Nicaragua, Timor and Uganda who would otherwise probably never have an equal chance to develop their skills. The motto of this foundation: „To raise an astronaut“. Claudia Kessler is married and a mother of a 16 year old daughter.