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Anousheh Ansari          

CEO of X Prize Foundation & First Female Private Space Explorer

Anousheh Ansari is an astronaut, high-tech serial entrepreneur and global leader. She is the CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, the world’s leader in designing and operating large incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges. Ansari, along with her family, sponsored the organization’s first competition, the Ansari XPRIZE, a $10 million competition that ignited a new era for commercial spaceflight. Since then, she has served on XPRIZE’s Board of Directors.

Prior to XPRIZE, Ansari co-founded and served as the CEO of Prodea Systems, a leading Internet of Things (IoT) technology firm, where she continues to serve as the executive chairwoman. In 2006, she captured headlines around the world when she embarked upon an 11-day space expedition, accomplishing her childhood dream of flying to space. As a result of her mission, she became the first female private space explorer, first astronaut of Iranian descent, first Muslim woman in space, and fourth private explorer to visit space.

Ansari serves on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Future Council and has received numerous honors, including the WEF Young Global Leader, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and STEM Leadership Hall of Fame, among others. She is a UNESCO Good Will Ambassador and serves on the board of Jabil and Peace First, as well as several other not-for-profit organizations focused on STEM education, youth empowerment and social entrepreneurship.

She published her memoir, "My Dream of Stars," to share her life story as inspiration for young women around the world.

Ansari holds a BS in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University, an MS in electrical engineering from George Washington University, and honorary doctorates from George Mason University, Utah Valley University, and International Space University.

Speech Topics

Be the Change You Want to See in the World

Space Commercialization and its Future

The Virtues of Space Exploration

Entrepreneurial Success as a Women

Reaching for the Stars and Getting There


Anousheh Ansari Dreams of Stars
When Anousheh Ansari was a little girl in Tehran, she used to sleep on her family's balcony, and look up at the stars, twinkling over Mt. Damavand. Her family was having tough times: her parent's marriage was breaking up, while Iran's clerical revolution had closed her school, and seemingly ended her dream of becoming a scientist. The stars were Anousheh Ansari's refuge.
Anousheh Ansari: A passion for space travel
Anousheh Ansari spent her childhood in Iran dreaming of venturing into space. On Monday, that dream came close to fulfilment when the businesswomen with American citizenship boarded a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Ansari to speak at Muslim Women's Foundation to host Mother's Day ...
Plano resident Anousheh Ansari, who was born in Iran and immigrated to the United States, will provide the keynote speech during the Texas Muslim Women's  ...
Spotlight on X-STEM Speakers: Anousheh Ansari! – USA Science ...
Lifting off with the Expedition 14 mission crew on September 18, 2006, American businesswoman Anousheh Ansari made headlines around the world as the first ...

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