August 17, 2015 — Pascale Ehrenfreund took office as Chair of the Executive Board at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on 17 August 2015. This places her at the head of one of Europe’s largest research institutes and its 8000 employees.
"Leading DLR through challenging times is a fascinating task and an honour," says Ehrenfreund on her new position. "With a portfolio comprised of research activities in the fields of aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security, DLR is among the world’s leading institutions. Not only do the research findings strengthen core areas of German industry, they also deliver key solutions to the global challenges of our time."
"As a research facility, space agency and project management agency, DLR is a unique institution with an immense potential for synergy," adds Ehrenfreund. "And DLR can contribute even more, provided we intensify cooperation across all areas to tap into this potential. Furthermore, I intend to focus on strengthening DLR’s scientific profile and its European and international ties to achieve our objectives.”
On 18 June 2015, the DLR Senate unanimously appointed Pascale Ehrenfreund as Chair of the DLR Executive Board for a five-year term. Ehrenfreund is a Research Professor at the Space Policy Institute of George Washington University (DC), in the United States, and until taking office at DLR was President of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Ehrenfreund was born in Vienna and is married and with two children. She succeeds Johann-Dietrich Wörner, who recently became Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) after chairing the Executive Board from March 2007 to June 2015.