Javier Benedicto to lead ESA’s Navigation Directorate

December 8, 2021  - By
Authors Javier Benedicto (ESA), left, and Rodrigo da Costa (GSA). (Image: ESA)

Javier Benedicto, left, with EUSPA’s Rodrigo da Costa. (Image: ESA)

Javier Benedicto will become the director of Navigation for the European Space Agency (ESA) on Feb. 16, 2022, when current director Paul Verhoef retires.

Verhoef has served as director for almost six years, after a 40-year career spanning the European Commission, ESA and private industry.

Benedicto is now head of the Galileo Programme Department within the Directorate of Navigation at ESA. A Spanish national, he spent his early career in academia, working as a microwave engineer at the Polytechnical University of Catalonia in Barcelona and as a telecommunications engineer at MIER Comunicaciones, also in Barcelona, before joining ESA in 1990. He is also a GPS World author, keeping readers apprised on the status of the Galileo program.

He holds a master’s degree in science and telecommunications engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and has more than 100 publications in technical journals and conferences. He also holds three international ESA patents and has five honors and awards.

Benedicto’s new role was announced Oct. 21, when the ESA Council appointed three new ESA directors. In addition to Benedicto as director of Navigation, Géraldine Naja will lead the new Directorate of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement. Simonetta Cheli will succeed Josef Aschbacher as Director of Earth Observation Programmes; Aschbacher became ESA Director General in March 2021.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.