We foster trust, cooperation and independent dialogue'

Between global leaders


The Karman Project announces global space leaders selected for 2024 Fellowship

17 May 2024By Hannah Ashford

By Hannah Ashford

The Karman Project announces global space leaders selected for 2024 Fellowship.

Press Release [Berlin, Germany] The Karman Project has announced the 15 global space leaders selected for the 2024 edition of the highly competitive Karman Fellowship program. 

The Karman Fellowship is the flagship program of the non-profit foundation, which promotes cooperation through action. It works with leaders who are considered to be shaping the future of space, having been recognised for their outstanding accomplishments in space and their motivation to increase their impact for the betterment of the space sector and beyond.

The 15 Fellows of 2024 represent 13 nationalities and five continents, and join a growing network of influential Karman Alumni - including 60 Fellows and over 150 top-shortlisted ‘Karman Pioneers’ from previous promotions - coming from the startup, cultural, venture capital, research, space agency and industry sectors alike. “This year’s program will have a strong focus upon peace-building efforts globally, acknowledging two things: firstly, the responsibility that the space sector holds as it navigates issues of sustainability, safety and security, and secondly, the role that well-intentioned individuals can play in the face of significant global challenges,” said Hannah Ashford, Managing Director of The Karman Project. "Together, we forge a path towards a brighter, unified future."

Whether it is leveraging space technologies to impact the everyday lives of citizens on Earth or leading multilateral peacebuilding efforts (Olayinka Fagbemiro of the Nigerian Space Agency, Aisha Jaginari of APSCO, Abeer Al-Saud of The Sustainable Development Association, Alena Kuzmenko of Unity Foundation); leading capacity building efforts in their regions (Will Pomerantz of the Brooke Owens and Patti Grace Smith Fellowships, Salah Bentata of Si Space Consulting Algeria, Melody Korman of the Israeli Space Forum); defining the future of human spaceflight (Tuva Atasever, Astronaut at the Turkish Space Agency, Kavya K. Manyapu of NASA) or otherwise, the 2024 Karman Fellows are already creating immeasurable impact in their respective fields, and are looking to leverage the Karman Fellowship to increase that impact for the benefit of humanity. 

The Fellows were selected from over 350 carefully considered candidates from around the world, 50 of whom were presented to the Karman Selection Board for the final decision. The 2024 Selection Board convened virtually on 20th April 2024 and was curated to consist of 21 highly respected and accomplished professionals, who likewise represent a fine intersection of disciplines, industries and cultures. For the fifth year in a row, the Board was chaired by Mr. Jean-Jacques Dordain, former Director General of the European Space Agency. The list of Selection Board Members was announced via LinkedIn on 19th April 2024 and is accessible here.

The selected Karman Fellows will participate in a program that is designed around three key pillars - Leadership, Dialogue and Action - and will be invited to meet with global leaders, strengthen their relationships with one another and engage in strategic discussions regarding the future of space. The Fellows traverse global issues informed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that space technologies can contribute to solving, together with challenges that exist within the space sector. As a ‘space-for-impact’ foundation, the Karman Project supports the Fellows in addressing six key Impact Themes: Sustainability, Education, Empowerment, Cooperation, Science and Inspiration. 

The Fellows will have the opportunity to partake in various in-person activities throughout the year, including the annual invite-only Karman Gala Dinner and the Karman Fellowship Week, which is an immersive, interactive and highly unique four-day program in which the leaders are placed within direct proximity of the issues that the space community is collectively working to solve. A host partner and location has been selected, and an announcement is forthcoming. 

The Karman Project additionally continues to build a strong network of global partners who are equally dedicated to supporting the Karman Fellows and wider community. A highlight of the partnership calendar will take place in July 2024, with The Karman Project set to co-host the fourth edition of the Smart Space MBA Elective at the University of Oxford, pursuant to their partnership with the University of Oxford’s Space Initiative that was initially announced in November 2021

The profiles of the 2024 Karman Fellows and the Selection Board Members will be made available via the Karman Project website in late May 2024. 

About the Karman Fellowship

The Karman Fellowship is a one-year leadership program designed to foster trust, independent dialogue and cooperation between 15 selected Karman Fellows who are below the age of 45 and have achieved outstanding accomplishments in space. Over the course of the Program, Fellows strengthen personal relations, meet with global leaders in technology, science, business, politics and the arts, and take personal commitments to further advance space-related agendas for the betterment of humanity.

About the Karman Project

‍The Karman Project strengthens trust, fosters independent dialogue and encourages cooperation between global leaders in business, technology, politics, science and the arts who want to positively impact space. The Karman Project is a nonprofit and independent foundation headquartered in Germany.

Annexure: Karman Fellows 2024

  1. Abeer S. Al-Saud, UNESCO Fellow & Co-Founder, The Sustainable Development Association (Talga) (Saudi Arabia)
  2. Tuva Atasever, Astronaut, Turkish Space Agency (Türkiye)
  3. Salah Eddine Bentata, Founder & Managing Director, Si Space Consulting (Algeria)
  4. Bianca Cefalo, CEO & Co-founder, Space DOTS Inc. (Italy, United Kingdom)
  5. Tao Chen, Director of Valve Engineering Department, LandSpace Technology Co. Ltd. (China)
  6. Richelle Ellis, Artist, Founder, Supercollider & Co-founder, Beyond Earth (USA)
  7. Olayinka Fagbemiro, Chief Scientific Officer, Nigerian Space Agency (Nigeria)
  8. Aisha Jagirani, Director General - External Relations and Legal Affairs, Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (Pakistan)
  9. Melody Korman, Executive Director, Israel Space Forum & Mission Manager, Rakia Mission (Israel)
  10. Alena Kuzmenko, Founder & President, Unity Charity Foundation (Russia)
  11. Kavya K. Manyapu, Flight Operations Directorate Exploration Spacesuits Insight Lead, NASA & Adjunct Professor, University of North Dakota  (USA, India)
  12. Will Pomerantz, Head of Space Ventures, AeroVironment & Co-founder, Brooke Owens and Patti Grace Smith Fellowships (USA)
  13. Lucie Poulet, Postdoctoral Researcher & Marie Curie Fellow, Université Clermont Auvergne (France)
  14. Manny Shar, Chief Strategy Officer, OrbitFab (UK, Pakistan)
  15. Jake Thompson, Head of Innovation & Chief Engineer Novel Nuclear, Rolls-Royce (UK)

Cooperation in space is a global endeavour achieved together

Support Us Support Us

Stay connected

sign up for our newsletter