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David Willetts appoints first members of new UK Space Agency steering board

31 August 2011

Science minister David Willetts has announced the external mambership of new UK Space Agency steering board. Rob Douglas will chair the steering board and other confirmed members are David Southwood, Sally Cantello and Baljit Dhillon. The steering board’s role is to advise Ministers on the strategies to be adopted by the UK Space Agency, as well as providing advice and guidance from a commercial standpoint to the chief executive and senior management on the UK Space Agency’s performance.

David Willetts
David Willetts

David Willetts welcomed the new members, saying their expertise will be vital in helping the Agency realise its ambitions for the UK's rapidly growing space sector.

Rob Douglas, a business consultant with extensive experience of the space sector, is also chairman of the South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA) and sits on the Space Leadership Council as the representative for the Regional Development Agency (RDA) network.

He says the UK has a strong and globally competitive space sector with ambitious targets for growth. "The UK Space Agency has a pivotal role in ensuring that the UK meets those targets and I am delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of that."

David Southwood has had a highly respected career in the space sector ranging from working in academia around the world to leading the space science programme of the European Space Agency. In July 2011, David Southwood was awarded a prestigious Sir Arthur Clarke Award for exceptional space achievement.

Sally Cantello has experience in the commercial, public and not-for-profit sectors, including spending a number of years working on market and development projects for high technology sections of the space industry. From 2001 until 2008, Sally Cantello was Chief Executive for the Whitehall and Industry Group.

Baljit Dhillon is a chartered engineer with a range of industry and public sector experience. With a background in finance and engineering and experience of working on and chairing audit committees, Baljit Dhillon will chair the Space Agency Audit Committee as well as sit on the Steering Board.

For more information about the UK Space agency, click here.  

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