Valanathan MUNSAMI

Saudi Space Agency (SSA)Deputy CEO

Dr Munsami holds a PhD in Physics, a Masters of Business Leadership, a Space Studies Program Diploma, and a Certificate in International Air, Space and Telecommunications Law. He worked in South Africa’s Secretariat for the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, managed the implementation of a suite of bilateral and multilateral science and technology agreements, involved in the development of South Africa’s National Space Strategy and National SpacePolicy, and oversaw the establishment of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA).

On winning the bid in 2012 to co-host the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), the biggest radio astronomy project in the world, he became the Chief Specialist for Astronomy and African Space Science. In this role, he led the development of South Africa’s Multi-Wavelength Astronomy Strategy and the SKA Readiness Strategy for Africa, and conceptualized the model for the Pan African Space Science University of the African Union.

He also chaired the African Union Space Working Group, which was tasked with the development of the African Space Policy and the African Space Strategy that was approved by the African Union Heads of State in January 2016, and also facilitated the Implementation Plan for the African Union Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA).

He was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SANSA for five years, ending in February 2022. He was also a member of the South African Council for Space Affairs (SACSA) and Vice President of the International Astronautic Federation.

He is inducted as an academician of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and sits on the Advisory Boards of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and ZASpace Inc. (the Space Industry Forum of South Africa).

He is currently the co-Founder of the African Space Leadership Institute, Chancellor of the International Space University, and is employed as an Advisor to the Saudi Space Commission.


International Astronautical Congress 2023

2-6 October 2023

Baku, Azerbaijan


International Astronautical Congress 2021

25-29 October 2021

Dubai, United Arab Emirates


The Global Space Exploration Conference 2021

14-18 June 2021

St. Petersburg, Russia


International Astronautical Congress 2020

12-14 October 2020

Cyberspace edition


The Global Conference on Space for Emerging Countries 2019

24-26 April 2019

Marrakech, Morocco


The Global Space Applications Conference 2018

21-23 May 2018

Montevideo, Uruguay


International Astronautical Congress 2017

25-29 September 2017

Adelaide, Australia