Saudi woman elected International Astronautical Federation Vice President
The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) has chosen Saudi female aerospace engineer Mishaal Ashemimry to be a member of the IAF Board of Directors, Saudi news agency SPA reported on Sunday.
“I am so proud and grateful to be elected to the position of Vice President,” she said on Twitter on September 25, adding, “I look forward to working with the other IAF Vice Presidents and the IAF office to advance space efforts, sector awareness […] and ensure the inclusion of the space sector globally.”
Ashemimry is a Saudi-American aerospace engineer, entrepreneur and commercial pilot born in Atlanta, Georgia. She also is the first female aerospace engineer in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). She established her own rocket industry company at the age of 26 and was awarded for scientific achievement by Saudi King Saman bin Abdulaziz in 2018.
She obtained a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and two Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mathematics from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.
Under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi women have seen unprecedented rulings empowering them in a number of the Kingdom’s vital institutions in several fields, the latest of which are in the security forces, human rights, and space.
The Saudi Space Commission announced that the Kingdom would send the first Saudi woman into space in 2023. “The Saudi Astronaut Program, which is an integral part of the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030, will send Saudi astronauts into space to help better serve humanity. One of the astronauts will be a Saudi woman, whose mission to space will represent a historical first for the Kingdom,” the Commission said in a statement on Thursday.