The Centre for Space Science Technology (CSST) is very pleased to announce the appointment of our first Chief Executive. We welcome Steve Cotter to this new and exciting role, driving regional, technology-based innovation and growth in New Zealand. Steve returns to New Zealand to fill this inaugural position after serving as Chief Executive of GÉANT, the pan-European Research and Education Network serving nearly 50 million users based in the Netherlands.

His career spans a variety of roles, from helicopter pilot in the United States Marine Corps, to engineer and senior management in telecommunications, to running both small and large science based and shared research institutions. Prior to GÉANT, Steve served four years as the Chief Executive Officer at REANNZ, the advanced network serving universities and Crown Research Institutes, based in Wellington.

CSST is delighted to have found a Chief Executive with the breadth of skills, experience and global network that Steve Cotter will bring to the organisation.

“I am thrilled to be back in New Zealand, partnering with government, industry and the public, driving sound science innovation that will empower decision-makers to make informed decisions,” says Steve Cotter.  “The New Zealand economy is heavily influenced by climate, weather, and natural hazards and CSST will pioneer the use of spaceborne measurements to enhance our economic security and improve environmental stewardship, delivering tangible benefits to society.”

CSST is excited to be leading the development of space-based science for New Zealand and grow past the initial ‘Establishment Phase’.  This six month phase was led by personnel in Alexandra, focusing on making the concept of a space-based research institute a reality.  This included incorporating a Trust, appointing a Board of Trustees and Board of Directors and establishing a Limited Liability Company. There has also been a lot of work done in developing relationships with, and preparing information for, a wide variety of companies, organisations and individuals who may be in the CSST orbit in the future. 30 June 2017 marked the official conclusion of this Establishment Phase.

The head office for CSST has opened in Alexandra today, with skeleton staff in place. Mr Cotter is expected to move to Alexandra in early August (exact date still to be determined) when additional staff will be employed and the research programmes will launch.