Simonetta Di Pippo

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UNOOSA Director, Simonetta Di Pippo

Simonetta Di Pippo (Rome, born in 1959) is an Italian astrophysicist and the current Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).[1] Ms. Di Pippo has a long and successful career dealing in aerospace affairs for more than 30 years. For her work, she has been knighted by the President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, in 2006. In addition, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) named asteroid 21887 "dipippo" as a recognition of her contribution to space exploration.


After having graduated with a master's degree in Astrophysics and Space Physics from the University "La Sapienza"[2] in Rome, Italy in 1984, Ms. Di Pippo joined the Italian Space Agency (ASI)[3] in 1986. Her responsibilities ranged from earth observation to automation & robotics, science and human spaceflight and in 2002 she took up duty as Director of the ASI's Observation of the Universe. From 2008 to 2011, Ms. Di Pippo served as Director of Human Spaceflight at the European Space Agency (ESA),[4] before returning to ASI to lead the European Space Policy Observatory at ASI-Brussels until March 2014.

Ms. Di Pippo co-founded, in June 2009, Women in Aerospace Europe (WIA-E)[5] and has acted as President since then. The association aims to expand the representation and leadership of women in the aerospace sector. In 2013 she received an Honoris Causa Degree in Environmental Studies from the St. John University in Vinovo (TO). Still in 2013, she was appointed Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). Author of 1 book and co-author of three books, of more than 60 publications, more than 700 articles and interviews on magazines and newspapers, members and President of scientific committees of international congresses, member and President of scientific awards’ jury, she has invited to teach at various Universities, including the George Washington University in Washington D.C. and the LUISS-Business School in Rome. Ms. Di Pippo was knighted by the President of the Italian Republic in 2006 and, in 2008, the International Astronomical Union assigned the name "dipippo" to asteroid 21887, in recognition of her effort in space exploration.

Simonetta Di Pippo was appointed Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in March 2014. Ms. Di Pippo leads the Office's strategies, policies and activities, ensuring that they are implemented in accordance with the mandates of the General Assembly, the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), and the established policies of the United Nations. Ms. Di Pippo advises the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Director-General of UNOV and provides expertise on matters relating to the peaceful uses of outer space, and the use of space science and technology for sustainable development and disaster risk reduction.

In 2015 Ms. Di Pippo became a member of the IAA Board of Trustees, which is the governing body of Astronautics (IAA), where she chaired the study "Public/Private Human Access to Space", which considered future commercial human spaceflight.

In 2016 the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awarded Ms. Di Pippo its International Cooperation Award, which recognizes individuals who have contributed extensively to international cooperation in space activities.

Awards and Honours[edit]

  • "Cavaliere Ufficiale al Merito" (Knighted by the President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (2006);[6]
  • International Award "Sebetia-Ter" - Silver Award of the President of the Italian Republic "Professore Ingegnere Luigi Napolitano" Award for the contributions to the space sector (2010);[7]
  • The asteroid number 21887 named "Dipippo" by the International Astronomical Union as an acknowledgement to her commitment to space exploration (2006);[8]
  • G.B. Lacchini award, UAI (2012);[9]
  • International Cooperation Award, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) (2016);
  • Women in Aerospace Leadership award (2012).[10]
  • "Space Visionary" award, assigned by the International Society of Space Visionaries (2007);
  • Award "Donna XIII" by the XIII Municipality of the City of Rome (2005);
  • Special Award "Spazio alla salute" at the International Awards "Le Tecnovisionarie" 2010;[11]
  • International Award "San Valentino d’Oro" as an acknowledgment for her "commitment, focus and love for her job" (2011);[12]
  • International Award "Profilo Donna", XXII Edition (November 2011);[13]
  • Several ESA and NASA Team Achievement Awards;


  • Astronauti, Mursia, 2002
  • Dai ghiacci della Terra ai ghiacci dell'Universo, Di Martino, Di Pippo et al., Erga Edizioni, 2007
  • European Operational Initiative on NEO Hazard Monitoring, S. Di Pippo, E. Perozzi, in Handbook of Cosmic Hazards and Planetary Defense, Springer, 2015
  • YES WE_STEM, L. d’Ambrosio Marri, F. Marzano e E. Pietrafesa, Introduction by S. Di Pippo, e-book only.


  1. ^ agt. "UNOOSA".
  2. ^ "Home - Sapienza Università di Roma".
  3. ^ "Welcome to A.S.I. - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - A.S.I. - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana".
  4. ^ esa. "ESA". European Space Agency.
  5. ^ "Women in Aerospace Europe".
  6. ^ web, Segretariato generale della Presidenza della Repubblica-Servizio sistemi informatici- reparto. "Le onorificenze della Repubblica Italiana". Quirinale.
  7. ^ Glucavelweb. "ELENCO DEI PREMIATI - Centro Studi Sebetia - ter".
  8. ^ Chamberlin, Alan. "JPL Small-Body Database Browser".
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-26. Retrieved 2010-11-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2013-07-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-02-07. Retrieved 2013-07-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ esa. "Simonetta Di Pippo riceve il prestigioso premio San Valentino D'Oro".
  13. ^ "Profilo Donna Magazine".

External links[edit]