Ersilia Vaudo holds a degree in Astrophysics. In 2020 she obtained an Executive Certificate from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Kennedy School.
Since 1991, she has been working at the European Space Agency in Paris and she is currently holding the role of ESA Chief Diversity Officer and Special Advisor on Strategic Evolution to the Director of European, Legal and International Affairs.
During her long career at the Agency, she held various roles primarily in the strategy field. Between 2002 and 2006, she worked at the ESA office in Washington DC (USA), where she was in charge of ensuring relations with NASA, US stakeholders and Canada. She was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of Women in Aerospace US.
In 2020, she had been part of the Task Force ‘Women for a New Renaissance’ set up by the Minister of Equal Opportunities and Family, and she contributed to the formulation of proposals on ‘Research, STEM and Skills Training’ that were included in the first National Strategy on Gender Equality.
She is a member of the Advisor Board of the Women’s Forum G20 Italy 2021.
In December 2020, she was assigned the role of Curator of the XXII International Exhibition of the Milan Triennale on the theme ‘Unknown Unknowns. An introduction to mysteries’, which will be inaugurated in May 2022.
Ersilia Vaudo is President and co-founder of the Association ‘Il Cielo Itinerante’ (The Travelling Sky) that has the aim of promoting STEM literacy by bringing science ‘where it doesn’t usually go’, with a telescope on top of a minibus and by organising STEM camps, thus reaching children who live in areas suffering hardship and educational poverty.
She is also Vice President of Eurisy, a non-profit association that involes 30 European space agencies, aiming to promote the relationship between space and society.
Ersilia Vaudo is co-chair of the recommendations on Talent and the Future of Work within the ‘Scale-Up Europe’ initiative, that was launched in 2020 by French President Emmanuel Macron with the goal of revitalising the Tech ecosystem in Europe.
In 2020, she received on behalf of ESA the International Astronautical Federation’s prestigious ‘Excellence Diversity Award’ for the space sector.
In October 2020, she received the ‘Technovisionarie 2020, Special Europe Award’ from the Women&Technologies Association.
In 2021, she was included among the 50 most influential women in Italy – “Inspiring Fifty – Italy” – who have distinguished themselves for their commitment to science and technology.
In May 2022, she was appointed as an expert member of the Technical and Scientific Committee of the Observatory for the integration of gender equality policies of the Italian Ministry for Equal Opportunities and Family.
In May 2022, the President of the Italian Republic bestowed on Ersilia Vaudo the honour of ‘Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia’.
Ersilia Vaudo Scarpetta has participated as a speaker in various TEDx Talks around Europe and has written extensively for the general public on topics concerning science and space, being convinced of the inspiring power that science has on the younger generations.