Valanathan Munsami

CEO, South Africa’s National Space (SANSA)

Dr Munsami holds a PhD in Physics, a Master of Business Leadership; a Space Studies Program Diploma; and a Certificate in International Air, Space and Telecommunications Law. He worked in South Africa’s Space Secretariat for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; managed the implementation of a suite of bilateral and multilateral science and technology agreements; was involved in the development of South Africa’s National Space Strategy and National Space Policy; and oversaw the establishment of South African National Space Agency (SANSA). 

On winning the bid in 2012 to co-host the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), the biggest radio astronomy project in the world, he became the Chief Specialist for Astronomy and African Space Science. In this role, he led the development of South Africa’s Multi-Wavelength Astronomy Strategy and the SKA Readiness Strategy for Africa.  He also chaired the African Union Space Working Group, which was tasked with the development of the African Space Policy and the African Space Strategy that was approved by the African Union Heads of State in January 2016. 

As of January 2017, he has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SANSA. He is currently a member of the South African Council for Space Affairs (SACSA); and was the Vice President: Developing Countries and Emerging Nations of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). He has been inducted as an academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA); sits on the Advisory Boards of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), and the UAE’s International Space Congress. In his spare time, he loves playing music, cooking, reading, writing, and spending time with his family.