Gaele Winters joined VKI as Director from 16 January 2017 to end of December 2017.
Gaele Winters was previously Director of Launchers (D/LAU) completing his career at ESA with the decision by the ESA Council for the final go-ahead for development of the next-generation Ariane 6 heavy-lift launch vehicle.
Gaele Winters began his ESA career as Director of Technical and Operational Support in 2001. He was successively Director of Operations and Infrastructure, and Head of the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt from 2004, ESA Director of Resources Management and Industrial Matters from October 2010, Director of Corporate Reforms since April 2011, Director of ESA Improvement Projects (D/EIP) since November 2013 and Head of ESA HQ, Paris and Director of Launchers from March 2014.
After his Msc in Economics at the Free University of Amsterdam, Gaele Winters joined the Secretariat of the Social-Economic Council of the Netherlands and became in 1981 Senior Policy Advisor in the Energy Department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and in 1986 Head of the Division for Gas Revenues. Later he was enrolled as Deputy Director for Manufacturing and Heavy Industry, followed by Director of the Policy Division in 1990. In 1993, still within the Ministry of Economic Affairs, he was appointed Deputy Director-General for Industry as well as Director for General Policy Coordination for the Industry Directorate-General. Because of this experience, in 1997 he was appointed President and CEO of Fokker Space BV, a position he held until joining ESA.
Gaele Winters was appointed Chairman of the ESA Council in 1993. He has also been Chairman of the Netherlands Industrial Space Organisation and on the boards of the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programmes and the Netherlands Aerospace Laboratory.