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- August 3rd, 2012 Posted in Article

Dr David Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency3 August 2012 – Dr. David Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, will be leaving the organisation in November. He has been appointed as Group Executive, Information Sciences at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Sydney, Australia.

CSIRO is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world. David’s role as Group Executive, Information Sciences is to lead on the following CSIRO Divisions:

  • CSIRO Astronomy and Space Sciences (which includes the Australia Telescope National Facility and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex)
  • CSIRO Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Centre
  • CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics.

Together, these divisions are Australia’s leading research organisations in the information sciences.

David was appointed Director General of the British National Space Centre (BNSC) in May 2006, becoming head of the UK delegation to the European Space Agency (ESA).

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said: “Over the past two years, David has done an excellent job creating and managing the UK Space Agency, and overseeing the UK’s civil space programme. The momentum building behind the UK space sector has been in part due to David’s hard work and grasp of the key priorities for the future of space. He will be truly missed and I wish him the best of luck in his new appointment at CSIRO.”

As well as overseeing the creation of the UK Space Agency in April 2010, in his time as Chief Executive he has seen through many Agency successes, including:

  • Moving the BNSC out of London to co-locate with the Research Councils in Swindon
  • Being elected as Chairman of the ESA Council at the 215th ESA Council meeting
  • The arrival of ESA in the UK at the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus
  • The creation and expansion of the International Space Innovation Centre
  • Creation of the National Space Technology Programme
  • Selection of the Satellite Applications Catapult Centre
  • Setting up the Agency Steering Board and Audit Committee

David will remain in post through this year’s ESA Ministerial to see this important phase through for the UK Space Agency and as Chairman of ESA Council. He will begin his new role with CSIRO in the last week of November.

The recruitment process for a new Chief Executive will be managed and organised by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) through an open competition.

Further Information

For further information, please contact:

Madeleine Russell
Press Officer
UK Space Agency
Tel: +44 (0)1793 418069

Notes for editors

CSIRO Information Sciences Group

The Information Sciences Group is the core of CSIRO’s research focus in the data-intensive sciences and services, and space research. For more information on the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), please visit

UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space. It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions. The UK Space Agency is responsible for ensuring that the UK retains and grows a strategic capability in the space-based systems, technologies, science and applications. It leads the UK’s civil space programme in order to win sustainable economic growth, secure new scientific knowledge and provide benefits to all citizens.

The UK Space Agency:

  • Co-ordinates UK civil space activity
  • Encourages academic research
  • Supports the UK space industry
  • Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad
  • Increases understanding of space science and its practical benefits
  • Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers
  • Licences the launch and operation of UK spacecraft
  • Promotes co-operation and participation in the European Space programme