Women on the Move: Simonetta Di Pippo

Director, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs

"Innovation is important - not only for yourself, but also for the society in which you live. It's not only a question of getting something accomplished because of your own career, but it's important to something that is useful for the community."


"Innovation is important - not only for yourself, but also for the society in which you live," said Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). To Di Pippo, a “Woman on the Move” is a frontrunner who pulls a team together in which each member shares the same innovative mindset to advance toward a common goal.

A “Woman on the Move” herself at the United Nations, Simonetta Di Pippo leads her UNOOSA team to fortify international cooperation in space activities to promote their use for sustainable development and humanity. In honor of her contribution to this field, Di Pippo was knighted by the President of the Italian Republic in 2006, and in 2008, the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 21887  “dipippo”. Coming to the UN as a woman leader, Di Pippo brought along years of experience working for the Italian Space Agency and the European Space Agency, among her involvement in other space-based initiatives and non-profit space organizations. She holds a Master’s Degree in Astrophysics and Space Physics from University “La Sapienza” in Rome and an Honoris Causa Degree in Environmental Studies from the St. John University in Vinovo.

Reflecting on the past 15 years in the aerospace community, Simonetta Di Pippo found that the more knowledge and skills she mastered, the less “discriminatory events” have occurred to her over time. Inspired by the fact that man had set foot on the moon, Di Pippo highlighted the importance of being a self-starter, striving to acquire new knowledge and explore innovative approaches to solving problems day by day.

Given the demanding nature of her job, Di Pippo has managed to find a balance for her professional and personal obligations. She believes that each person has their own natural way to balance their lives. “I was looking for a job that would give me the possibility to keep my personal life and learn every day,” she said, “that’s exactly what I found.”

Looking ahead to the future of women leaders, she advised aspiring young women leaders to be patient, work hard, and stay committed to their purpose.


Learn more about Simonetta Di Pippo.