SGAC Welcomes a new Deputy Executive Director

After a very thorough selection process that lasted two months, the Selection Committee has chosen Davide Petrillo to become the Deputy Executive Director (DED) of SGAC.

A total of 17 candidates (4 females and 13 males) applied for the position. The selection process entailed several phases with detailed evaluations and analysis by the Selection Committee members, which resulted in the final candidate selection by consensus.   

The DED Selection Committee was formed by the following members:

  • SGAC Co-Chairs: Matteo Emanuelli and Arnau Pons
  • SGAC Executive Committee: Elizabeth Barrios (NCAC Regional Coordinator), Anthony Yuen (SGAC Treasurer) and Zareen Cheema (SGAC Recruitment Manager)
  • SGAC Advisory Board: Andrea Jaime (OHB) and Clayton Mowry (Blue Origin)

We warmly welcome Davide to the team!

About Davide Petrillo:

Davide has a M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Padova (Italy). His professional experience brought him to London (UK) as a Business Manager for Alten Ltd and previously in Milano (Italy) as a Business Analyst for Accenture, global management consulting company that provides strategy, consulting, technology and operations services. Previously, he was the Team Leader of FELDs Experiment selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Drop Your Thesis! 2014 programme. FELDs tested a tethered electromagnetic soft docking technology in microgravity conditions at the Drop Tower of the Centre of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) in Bremen, Germany. In 2015, he won the “Hans Von Muldau Team Award” for the best team project that took place in Jerusalem at the 66th International Astronautical Congress (IAC). Davide joined SGAC in 2016 and has been appointed as part of the 3rd E-SGW organizing team, the SGC 2018 organizing team specifically focused on the organization and management of the Special Track “Bridging the Space Divide” Working Group, Space Generation Congress 2019 Deputy Manager (Washington D.C., USA) and Space Generation Congress 2020 Manager (Dubai, UAE).

I feel extremely honoured to be selected as the new SGAC Deputy Executive Director. I see SGAC as a catalyst for driving workforce development with dedicated students and young professionals that makes the organization unique and forward thinking. SGAC has given a lot to me and now I want to make sure that my contribution can enhance our member’s ability to become successful individuals and provide a final positive contribution to our organization. I am looking forward to working in close cooperation with all the members in the constructive spirit which has always characterized our work and that will drive the future success of SGAC.

Davide Petrillo, SGAC Deputy Executive Director

Davide brings on the job already quite an extensive experience with SGAC in multiple volunteer positions. He has a proven leadership track record and an inspiring vision for SGAC. We expect a lot from him as he will have big shoes to fill. The job of a Deputy Executive Director is not only a training role but it entails many operative tasks in support of the leadership and the whole SGAC community.

Matteo Emanuelli, SGAC Chair

Davide is an outstanding leader who will bring fresh ideas and renovated energy to the organisation. His previous experience as congress manager has prepared him to take on this exciting challenge. As Newton once said, ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.’ Davide will thus join the incredible tradition of our SGAC Deputy and Executive Directors and build on the exceptional example of our Executive Director, Clémentine Decoopman.

Arnau Pons, SGAC Co-Chair

I would like to congratulate Davide for being selected as the Deputy Executive Director of SGAC. I have been working with him over the past 3 years as he was part of several event organising teams and I am very excited to continue working with him. I will do my very best to ensure Davide will get the best training possible to ensure a smooth transition of SGAC leadership. Working full time for SGAC as the Executive Director is an important responsibility but it comes with great rewards as you get to enrich your network with leaders from the industry worldwide, make lifetime friends and support tomorrow’s global space workforce by providing SGAC members with opportunities to learn and gain new skills which will prove beneficial to employers from the industry. I am convinced that his ambition for SGAC will enable the organisation to continue to grow while maintaining its good spirit and professionalism. SGAC is in good hands!

Clémentine Decoopman, SGAC Executive Director


The new Deputy Executive Director, Davide Petrillo, will soon start his new position at the SGAC HQ in Vienna working alongside the Executive Director, Clémentine Decoopman, and the Operations Manager, Matteo Cappella.