The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) announces the appointment of Humbulani Mudau as the new CEO, following a one-year stint by Ms Andiswa Mlisa as the interim CEO of the agency between March 2022 and March 2023.
Before his appointment, Mr Mudau was the Chief Director of Space Science and Technology at South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), where he contributed immensely to developing South Africa’s (and Africa’s) space programme by providing policy and strategic guidance to different bodies.
As the Chief Director of Space Science and Technology in the South African government, he was responsible for the implementation of the Department of Science and Technology’s 10-year Innovation Plan – which included the National Space Strategy and South African Earth Observation Strategy (SAEOS) – as well as the establishment of the SANSA and the National Earth Observation and Space Secretariat, among many other initiatives.
Mr Mudau has more than 20 years of technical and management experience in space science and technology, specifically in Earth observation systems, remote sensing applications and geospatial technologies, and extensive knowledge in developing policies and strategies and implementing programmes in those areas.
Specifically, Mr Mudau has spent the last 17 years at the DSI as the Deputy Director of Space Programmes (2006-2009), Director of Space Science and Technology (2009-2010), Senior Scientific Representative and Expert for the Group on Earth Observations (2010-2012) and finally the Chief Director of Space Science and Technology (2012-2023). Before this, he was the Acting Research Group Leader and Project Manager for Natural Resources and the Environment Unit at South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
Within the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), Mr Mudau has held various positions where he has led research, development and innovation by launching human capital development programmes at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of KwaZulu-Natal and Durban University of Technology. In addition, as the project manager for South Africa’s first national satellite programme, he designed and facilitated capacity-building and awareness initiatives in the space science and technology domain.
Mr Mudau has participated and contributed to national and international platforms on space science and technology, including the GEO, Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), African Resource Management Constellation (ARMC), World Radio Conference (WRC), among many others. He has extensive knowledge of international developments in space science, government operations, diplomacy, protocols, priorities, public policies, administration and strategies, including an understanding of implementing government priorities and science and technology legislative frameworks.
Mr Humbulani Mudau holds a Master’s in Satellite Remote Sensing from the University of Paris VI (Pierre & Marie CURIE), France, a B.Sc. Honours in Environmental Management and Geospatial Sciences from the University of Johannesburg, a Certificate in Remote Sensing from the University of Johannesburg, and a B.Sc. Biological Sciences from the University of Venda.
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