Reflections on Leadership: Jean-Jacques Dordain of the European Space Agency

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In 2015, Jean-Jacques Dordain retired as director general of the European Space Agency (ESA). This is Europe's NASA and includes a host of sovereign nations that differ in language, culture, economics, and politics. As ESA's director general, Dordain pulled together a disparate and often quarreling group of countries and got them moving in the same direction. Billions of dollars were involved in a sequence of large-scale, complex spaceflights. Successes far surpassed failures. Dordain stated that if there is one area of administration about which ESA could teach the world, it is "that of international cooperation. Very simple-it's because ESA is an institutional cooperation venture." In this Administrative Profile, Dordain comments on the issues he faced in guiding European cooperation as well as relations with the United States and other countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-511
Number of pages5
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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