A professor of space policy and international affairs at George Washing University in the USA, Prof Ehrenfreund has played a leading role within international space science for years, including on ESA and NASA missions. At present, she is the President of the International Astronautical Federation, the President of the International Space University, and a special advisor to the European Commission.
"Her expertise and vision have been fundamental to the successful work of various boards and governing entities with which she has been associated," COSPAR said in a statement.
Prof Ehrenfreund has extensive academic credentials, including a Master’s in Molecular Biology, a PhD in Astrophysics, a Doctorate in Astrochemistry and a second Master’s in Management and Leadership. Additionally, she was the first female president of the Austrian Science Fund when she was selected in 2013, and she has a main-belt asteroid named in her honour: 9826 Ehrenfreund.
The award is named after the Australian physicist Sir Harrie Massey, known for his work in atomic and atmospheric physics. (© Emilie Steinmark / AcademiaNet / Spektrum.de)