Ersilia Vaudo Scarpetta has been working at the European Space Agency since 1991, where she is currently Chief Diversity Officer. During her career at ESA, she held several positions i.a. in international relations, elaboration of high level strategies, preparation of decisions at Member States’ ministerial meetings, network with think tanks.
She participated to the formulation of the first ESA Exploration programme, worked as coordinator of Science and Human Spaceflight activities and had the responsibility as Executive Secretary of the Science and Technology Advisory Group on Exploration in charge of selecting experiments for exploration missions, including ExoMars. She spent four years at the ESA Washington Office ensuring relations with NASA and US stakeholders, and was Member of the Board of Directors of Women in Aerospace USA.
In her current position she supports ESA Director General in proposing actions enhancing the Agency’s diversity and inclusiveness, contributing to increase ESA’s visibility on those topics, and fostering initiatives aiming at increasing the attractiveness of STEM/space careers to a diverse pool of talents.
Currently she is member of International Women Forum, of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society Daring Circle, and of Women in Aerospace – Europe. She holds a Degree in Physics, with specialisation in Astrophysics and has a further education in Economics. During her studies she has been awarded with Amelia Earhart Fellowship in recognition of distinctive merit in Astrophysics studies and with the Academia dei Lincei Enrico Persico Fellowship.
Ersilia Vaudo wrote a high number of articles on science and space for the general public and participated to events and various TEDx talks, as strong believer in the power of inspiration and transformation that science can have on people and in particular on the young generations.