Avigdor ‘Avi’ Blasberger has been appointed as the new Director-General of the Israel Space Agency, replacing Menachem Kidron who resigned earlier in 2016.
The appointment of Mr. Blasberger in early May 2016 came after a lengthy selection process, and was appointed by the Israeli cabinet. His predecessor, Mr. Kidron, had served as Director-General of the Israel Space Agency since January 2012 before resigning in January of 2016.
Professor Isaac Ben-Israel remains as Chairman of the Israel Space Agency.
Prior to his appointment as Director-General of the Israel Space Agency, Mr. Blasberger served in various senior positions at the Israeli defence and aerospace company Elbit Systems, including as Chief Executive Officer of Elbit Security Systems and as vice-president for intelligence in Elbit Systems Electro-Optics. These and other positions within Elbit Systems focused largely on space issues as well as involvement in complex space projects.
Mr. Blasberger holds Bachelor (B.SC.) and Master (M.SC.) degrees in mechanical engineering from Ben Gurion University, and an Executive Master’s of Business Administration (EMBA) in Business Administration from Tel Aviv University. Mr. Blasberger has also served as a member of the steering committee of the Israel Space Agency; a member of the Space Center Committee of the National Council for Research and Development; and as a space policy consultant to the Samuel Neaman Institute.
Israel’s Science Minister, Ophir Akunis of the Likud Party, congratulated Mr. Blasberger on his appointment, “The Israel Space Agency is blessed to have a director with such an extensive background in business and technology, and particularly impressive in the fields of space. I am convinced that Mr. Blasberger will contribute much to the continued development of the Space Agency, he will act to strengthen Israeli initiatives in space, and he will lead the Agency in establishing Israel as a leader in space technology.”
The Israel Space Agency was established in 1983 under then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin.